Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman has never been told by his team to tone it down.
In fact, he told ESPN’s The Undefeated Tuesday that the Seahawks have been supportive on how he speaks his mind. When questioned by Domonique Foxworth about issues of race and violence, Sherman offered several thoughtful responses, including his stance on the Black Lives Matter movement.
“It’s hard to formulate an opinion and generalize because they have several different messages,” Sherman told Foxworth. “Some of them are peaceful and understandable and some of them are very radical and hard to support. Any time you see people who are saying, ‘Black Lives Matter,’ and then saying it’s time to kill police, then it is difficult to stand behind that logic. They are generalizing police just like they are asking police not to generalize us. It is very hypocritical. So, in that respect, I find it difficult to fully support that movement.”
“I stand by what I said that All Lives Matter and that we are human beings,” Sherman told Foxworth. “And speaking to police, I want African-Americans and everybody else treated decently. I want them treated like human beings. And I also want the police treated like human beings. I don’t want police officers just getting knocked off in the street who haven’t done anything wrong.”
“Those are innocent lives.”
Sherman also touched on “institutional racism.”
“I’d say, to some degree, that’s true,” Sherman told Foxworth. “There is low funding for education and very few jobs to go around. But there are also people who work hard to take care of their families. My parents did a great job, same inner city, Watts, South Central, [California]. They worked hard, didn’t make the most money, but took care of the kids in the neighborhood, took care of us, made ends meet, kept us out of gangs and all the nonsense. But I think there is also a mentality that we want to blame someone else for black fathers not being there for all these people having all these kids and nobody raising them. We want to say that’s systematic, but when do we stop saying it’s systematic and move forward and make a difference?”
Sherman was harshly criticized for his comments. He responded on Twitter by saying: “Everything is possible through hard work and dedication. I will help them understand that circumstances do not dictate your future.”
“Being a Critic takes no talent…. Persevering and perusing a dream takes courage…. Keep believing,” Sherman said on Twitter.
Last year, Sherman talked in a press conference about the Black Lives Matter movement.
“I don’t think anytime is a time to call for an all out war against police or any race of people,” Sherman told reporters in September. “I thought that was an ignorant statement. As a black man, I do understand that black lives matter. I stand for that and believe in that, wholeheartedly. I also think that there is a way to go about things and there is a way to do things. I think that the issue at hand needs to be addressed internally, before we move on.”
“Because from personal experience, living in the hood, living in the inner city, you deal with things, you deal with people dying,” Sherman said. “I dealt with a best friend getting killed. It was two 35-year-old black men. Wasn’t no police officer involved, wasn’t anybody else involved. I didn’t hear anybody shout black lives matter then. I think that’s the point we need to get to. We need to deal with our own internal issues before we start pointing fingers and start attacking other people. We need to solidify ourselves as a people and deal with our issues because I think, as long as we have black on black crime, and one black man killing another, if black lives matter, then they should matter all of the time.”
“You should never let somebody get killed — that’s somebody’s son, that’s somebody’s brother, that’s somebody’s friend. So you should always keep that in mind,” Sherman told reporters in September.
“And there’s a lot of dealings with police officers right now, I don’t think all cops are bad. You know, I think there’s some great cops out there, who do everything in their power to uphold the badge and uphold the honor and protect the people in society. But there are bad cops, and I think that also needs to be addressed. I think the police officers we have right now — you know, some of it is being brought to light, because of video cameras, everybody has a camera phone. But these are things a lot of us have dealt with our whole lives. And I think right now is a perfect time to deal with it. The climate we’re in … everybody’s being more accepting, you know, so I think the ignorance should stop. I think people realize that, at the end of the day, we’re all human beings. So, you know, before we’re black, white, Asian, Polynesian, Latino — we’re humans. So, it’s up to us to stop it. Thank you.”
Sherman, 28, is due $12.5 million this season in Seattle. The Stanford product was born and raised in Compton, California. From there he attended Dominguez High School, where he graduated as a star athlete with a 4.2 GPA, according to his official website.
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