RENTON You could hear it in his voice. You could feel it in his words.
Richard Sherman is fed up with continued killings of minorities by police in America, and by what he says is society losing the message intended by recent kneeling and sitting by NFL players during national anthems before games.
“So today -- obviously we’re playing San Fran (Sunday in Seattle) and they’re a great opponent; they’ve got some weapons: Torrey Smith, Carlos Hyde; they’re running Chip Kelly’s offense; they do a great job; they’ve been getting yards, moving the ball, scoring points -- but I’m not going to answer any questions today. And it’s no offense to you guys, but I think the state of things in the world today is very interesting,” the Seahawks’ three-time All-Pro cornerback said Wednesday, five days after a white, Tulsa, Oklahoma, police officer shot Terence Crutcher, an unarmed, 40-year-old black man, while responding to a report of an abandoned vehicle in a road.
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“I think you have players that are trying to take a stand and trying to be aware of social issues and try to make a stand an increase people’s awareness and put a spotlight on it. And they’re being ignored,” Sherman continued. “Whether they’re taking a knee or whether they’re locking arms, they’re trying to bring people together and unite them for a cause.
“I think the last couple days a couple more guys have gotten shot and killed in the middle of the street. More videos have come out of guys getting killed. And I think people are still missing the point. The reason these guys are kneeling, the reason we’re locking arms is to bring people together, to make people aware that this is not right. It’s not right for people to get killed in the street.
“I do a lot of community service. I go out there and try to help kids and try to encourage them to be better and to aspire to more. And when you tell a kid, ‘When you’re dealing with police, just put your hands up and comply with everything,’ and there’s still a chance of them getting shot and no repercussions for anyone, that’s an unfortunate time to be living. That’s an unfortunate place to be in. There’s not a lot you can tell a kid. There’s not a lot you can try to inspire, say to inspire a person when you say, ‘Hey, we need black fathers to be in the community to stay there for your kids.’ But they’re getting killed in the street for nothing, for putting their hands on their cars. And I think that’s the unfortunate part, that’s the unfortunate place that we’re living in.
“And something needs to be done.
“And so when a guy takes a knee, you can ignore it. You can say he’s not being patriotic, he’s not honoring the flag. I’m doing none of those things. I’m saying it straight up. This is wrong and we need to do something.
“So thank you guys, have a blessed day.”
Sherman on Wednesday reminded us that professional athletes are not robots. They are not chips that you can play in your fantasy league.
Despite their wealth and fame, they are citizens and people, just like you, and me. And Terence Crutcher.