Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman declined taking any questions during Wednesday’s news conference to protest police shootings.
Sherman took his time at the podium to share his thoughts on athletes promoting social change and about all the violence that has been occurring lately.
“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,” Sherman said.
“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 and increase peoples’ 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’s protest was held just a day after police shot and killed Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte, North Carolina. Just four days earlier, Terence Crutcher was shot and killed by a cop in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
“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.”
Sherman’s speech was just another showing of protest from professional athletes. Colin Kaepernick started a movement by kneeling during the national anthem before games and others, like Sherman’s teammate Jeremy Lane, have joined along.
The Seahawks have made a statement of their own, standing together, locking arms as a demonstration of camaraderie and unity,
Sherman was very short and direct with his protest:
“When a guy takes a knee, you can ignore it,” Sherman said. “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.”