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Richard Sherman Wants To Talk About Police Shootings, Not The Game

"I’m saying, straight up, this is wrong and we need to do something," the Seattle Seahawks cornerback said.

Richard Sherman is well known for his unconventional approach to press conferences ― and on Wednesday, the Seattle Seahawks cornerback took the stage to let reporters know what’s really on his mind.

Sherman started his weekly presser with a few words on the Seahawks’ upcoming game against the San Francisco 49ers. Then he told reporters he wouldn’t be taking questions about Sunday’s game.

“I’m not going to answer any questions today and it’s no offense to you guys,” Sherman told the crowd of reporters, as seen in the video below filmed by The News Tribune of Tacoma. “I think the state of things in the world today is very interesting.”

Sherman used the forum to address recent fatal police shootings of black men in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and in Charlotte, North Carolina, and to talk about the importance of the national anthem protests against police violence led by the 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick and other NFL athletes.

Then, still without taking any questions, Sherman walked out of the room. 

Scroll to read the whole transcript below.

During his two-minute speech, Sherman said that certain NFL players are trying to take a stand and “raise people’s awareness,” but their message is still being ignored.

“I think the last couple days a couple more guys have gotten shot and killed in the middle of the street ... and I think people are still missing the point,” Sherman said. 

“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,” he continued. “It’s not right for people to get killed in the street.”

Colin Kaepernick #7 and Eric Reid #35 of the San Francisco 49ers kneel in protest during the national anthem prior to playing
Colin Kaepernick #7 and Eric Reid #35 of the San Francisco 49ers kneel in protest during the national anthem prior to playing the Los Angeles Rams on September 12.

Sherman explained that he tries to inspire kids when he’s doing community service. Though he warns kids to comply with the police for their safety, he said “there’s still a chance of them getting shot and no repercussions for anyone.”

“Something needs to be done,” Sherman continued. “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.”

After walking out of the press conference, Sherman answered reporters’ questions in the locker room, NBC’s Pro Football Talk reported.

At least 15 black people have died during police encounters since Aug. 26, when San Francisco’s Kaepernick began taking a knee during pre-game national anthems in protest of police violence, according to The Guardian.

Read Sherman’s full transcript below:

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.

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.

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