Richard Sherman protests shootings by not taking questions at news conference

BySheil Kapadia via ESPN logo
Thursday, September 22, 2016

RENTON, Wash. -- Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman declined to take questions at his weekly news conference Wednesday as a form of protest to recent police shootings.

Instead, he shared his thoughts on athletes and social change.

"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 comes one day after police fatally shot Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte, North Carolina, and five days after 40-year-old Terence Crutcher was fatally shot by an officer 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."

Last month, Sherman said he felt San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's protest came from a good place, though added that "you can't ever stand against the flag."

Sherman's teammate, Jeremy Lane, knelt during the national anthem before the Seahawks' final preseason game, but the Seahawks have since stood together, arms locked as a demonstration of unity.

"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."

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