NFLRichard Sherman Pulled a Marshawn Lynch to Protest Police Violence
It's a hell of a quote, too.
Make that two minds that Colin Kaepernick's pregame national anthem protests have helped to change. Back in July, Richard Sherman caught some flak for the confusing, sanitized, straw-man-destroying "All Lives Matter" take he outlined in an interview with The Undefeated. During Tuesday's scheduled, NFL-mandated media availability session, the man took a decidedly different tack (all emphasis mine):
Obviously we’re playing San Fran 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. 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 an 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.
He was just warming up, though.
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. It’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 a
person when you say, ‘We need black fathers to be in the community to
stay their 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,
straight up, this is wrong and we need to do something. So thank you
guys, have a blessed day.
And with that, he walked off the podium and and never spoke another word again.
No, kidding. This is Richard Sherman we're talking about here, and he eventually relented and agreed to talk to a few reporters back in the locker room. But even if he had pulled a Full Marshawn, that would have been perfectly acceptable. Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio was somewhat critical of Sherman, pleading that reporters are just trying to do their jobs, and stunts like Sherman's make that task unnecessarily difficult. Which, sure. But also, no one really needs to hear him answer questions like "Are you excited to take on Blaine Gabbert on Sunday?"
Sherman had an important message of support to share for Colin Kaepernick and the many other athletes protesting police violence. He made his point eloquently, succinctly, and in a way that got everyone's attention. And all we lost were a few canned coachspeak answers in the process. Seems like a fair trade to me.