Earlier this week, The Undefeated talked to Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman to get his thoughts on race relations, more specifically the violence surrounding black men and police. If you pegged Sherman to be a 100% Black Lives Matter advocate, you were probably wrong.
When asked his thoughts on the Black Lives Matter movement Sherman answered, “
It’s hard to formulate an opinion and generalize because they have several different messages. 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 adds. “
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.”
His message wasn’t entirely bad, however. He did say that he’d like to see more athletes, NBA and NFL, come together to spread the message of non-violence. “It would have to be a united message. It would have to be something that I could stand behind. I won’t stand behind a message I didn’t believe,” Sherman said in regards to whether he’d jump on board if approached by a fellow athlete.
He also says that if athletes want to form, the first thing they should do is go into urban areas where there is a lot of gang violence and talk to the community. “I think we target the inner city and the black community and a lot of the places that have high gang violence and beg for them to stop the senseless violence within our own community. Because once we stop that, once we unite as a people, once we come together and stop looking at each other as enemies, then we can move forward in a very powerful way. “
As to whether or not Sherman feels the NFL will come together as a league to combat violence, he says it’s not likely. “I don’t think they will because it doesn’t affect their bottom line. It doesn’t affect them, and a lot of the owners haven’t come from a background where they would have to deal with these type of circumstances. So it’s just news to them. They are too far away. But as players, we are really close to it. A majority African-American league, with a lot of guys coming from impoverished environments, would really feel compelled to speak up.”
While I get where Richard Sherman is going, he has to understand Black Lives Matter’s message and that not everyone who discusses the movement IS the movement. Furthermore, when America was calling him a thug for his “passion,” Black people had no doubts whatsoever when it came to defending him. I hope he remembers that. As far as the ‘black on black violence’ thing, I get it, but there are other organizations and other movements created for that. We shouldn’t blur the lines, or else we confuse everyone else.