NFL athlete says enough is enough after more killings in US
by Kadeem Simmonds
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS’ Richard Sherman refused to speak about Sunday’s clash against the San Francisco 49ers on Wednesday night, instead using his pre-match press conference to raise awareness about the recent deaths of black people by police officers in the United States.
Tawon Boyd died yesterday, while the death of Keith Scott this week sparked riots. Last week, Terence Crutcher was killed while his hands were up.
The Seahawks playing the 49ers is poignant as Seattle linked arms during the US national anthem prior to the first game of the season.
This was in response to the protests against the anthem started by San Francisco’s quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who began kneeling during the anthem in the pre-season.
Sherman was meant to discuss the divisional rivalry between the two franchises but opted to tell the media that “something needs to be done.”
He said: “I think the state of things in the world today is very interesting. I think you have players that are trying to take a stand and trying to be aware of social issue and try to make a stand and increase people’s awareness and put a spotlight on it and they’re being ignored.
“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.”
Sherman added that when doing community service, it is difficult to tell kids “When you’re dealing with police, just put your hands up and comply with everything” when “there’s still a chance of them getting shot and no repercussions for anyone, that’s an unfortunate time to be living,” before adding: “When a guy takes a knee, you can ignore it.
“You can say he’s not being patriotic, he’s not honouring the flag. I’m doing none of those things. I’m saying, straight up, this is wrong and we need to do something.”
Sherman’s comments came on the same day that the NBA urged players to reach out to league and union officials to try to come up with ways to create “positive change” in communities around the country and each player on WNBA team Indiana Fever took a knee during the national anthem.
“Well, we thought it was important to have a voice about something greater than basketball,” said Fevers Tamika Catchings.