Richard Sherman has always been outspoken. Who can forget when he used a postgame interview to rant about Michael Crabtree? Certainly not Erin Andrews, that’s for sure. However, Sherman is not just a boisterous guy who yells about football. He’s also outspoken about the world outside the NFL, and that was on display at a recent press conference where, instead of taking questions, he pontificated about the state of race relations in the United States.
Ever since Colin Kaepernick didn’t stand for the national anthem, the plight of black people, and particularly young black men, in this country has been a hot topic within the NFL. Many players, Sherman included, have added their voices to the conversation, and have joined Kaepernick in protesting the racial problems this country still faces. After briefly discussing the Seahawks’ upcoming game with the 49ers, Sherman told the gathered press that he was not going to answer any questions, and instead spoke at length about his disappointment with the continued violence against black men in this country, and also the way the protests of these NFL players have been contextualized and, often, ignored.
Seemingly annoyed at the way protests on the field have been discussed, Sherman ended his speech by saying, “I’m saying it straight up. This is wrong, and we need to do something.” It was a very concise, but pointed, statement, and a productive use of Sherman’s platform. Sure, nobody got to ask him about how the Seahawks might handle Blaine Gabbert, but some things are more important than that.