Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman stands by his conviction: all lives matter and he’s tired of blacks talking about “black lives matter” (BLM) when black on black crime is rampant.
Of the BLM movement, he told the Sports blog, The UnDefeated:
“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. 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.”
Sherman also addressed the topic of “institutional racism.”
“There is low funding for education and very few jobs to go around. But there are also people who work hard to take care of their families. My parents did a great job, same inner city, Watts, South Central, [California]. They worked hard, didn’t make the most money, but took care of the kids in the neighborhood, took care of us, made ends meet, kept us out of gangs and all the nonsense. But I think there is also a mentality that we want to blame someone else for black fathers not being there for all these people having all these kids and nobody raising them. We want to say that’s systematic, but when do we stop saying it’s systematic and move forward and make a difference?”
His comments sparked a wave of criticism on social media, and he’s still getting backlash. His response continues to be a class act and role model for young students and athletes:
Everything is possible through hard work and dedication. I will help them understand that circumstances do not dictate your future
— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) July 27, 2016
Being a Critic takes no talent…. Persevering and perusing a dream takes courage…. Keep believing
— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) July 27, 2016
Last year, Sherman spoke at a press conference about the Black Lives Matter movement. He told reporters of his own experience as a black man, who earned a 4.2 GPA in high school while also being a star athlete who grew up “living in the hood.” He broke records at Stanford University and became a professional football player. He said:
Because from personal experience, living in the hood, living in the inner city, you deal with things, you deal with people dying. I dealt with a best friend getting killed. It was two 35-year-old black men. Wasn’t no police officer involved, wasn’t anybody else involved. I didn’t hear anybody shout black lives matter then. I think that’s the point we need to get to. We need to deal with our own internal issues before we start pointing fingers and start attacking other people. We need to solidify ourselves as a people and deal with our issues because I think, as long as we have black on black crime, and one black man killing another, if black lives matter, then they should matter all of the time.
“You should never let somebody get killed — that’s somebody’s son, that’s somebody’s brother, that’s somebody’s friend. So you should always keep that in mind.
“And there’s a lot of dealings with police officers right now, I don’t think all cops are bad. You know, I think there’s some great cops out there, who do everything in their power to uphold the badge and uphold the honor and protect the people in society. But there are bad cops, and I think that also needs to be addressed. I think the police officers we have right now — you know, some of it is being brought to light, because of video cameras, everybody has a camera phone. But these are things a lot of us have dealt with our whole lives. And I think right now is a perfect time to deal with it. The climate we’re in … everybody’s being more accepting, you know, so I think the ignorance should stop. I think people realize that, at the end of the day, we’re all human beings. So, you know, before we’re black, white, Asian, Polynesian, Latino — we’re humans. So, it’s up to us to stop it. Thank you.”
Sherman was born and raised in Compton, California. He was the first student in 20 years admitted to Stanford University who qualified on both academic and athletic merit.
This season he will reportedly earn $12.5 million playing for the Seattle Seahawks.