Richard Sherman understands Kaepernick’s message, questions the platform

Getty Images

Plenty of people who have reacted to the decision of 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to refuse to stand for the national anthem due to his belief that African-Americans and people of color are oppressed in this country by embracing the message but questioning the method. Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman took that position in remarks to reporters on Monday.

“Obviously, what he meant to do was in a good place,” Sherman said, via comments distributed by the team. “He wanted to make a stand, anytime you don’t stand during the national anthem people are going to criticize it. That’s the unfortunate part of it, you can’t ever stand against the flag and things like that, a lot of people sacrifice and things like that for it, but there is also a deeper meaning to what he did.

“He’s talking about the oppression of African-Americans in this country and that has been going on for a long time and I think a lot of the focus has shifted away from his message, and for some people rightfully so, to him taking a stand against the nation, etc, etc. I think there’s also things about this nation that people need to remember and take heed of and also acknowledge. This country is also the same country that had whites and colored signs on the bathroom. We’re still in that country, we’re still in that nation, and that need to be acknowledged and that needs to be changed.

“There’s people with that mentality that still exist, and that needs to change. There are still people that treat people of color with subjectivity, they treat them a certain way, they categorize them. They put them in a category, in certain statistics that are put out there to make sure that police profile certain people in certain neighborhoods, and that needs to change. There is some depth and some truth into what he was doing. I think he could have picked a better platform and a better way to do it but every day they say athletes are so robotic and do everything by the book, then when somebody takes a stand like that, he gets his head chopped off.”

Sherman then pointed out that society at large could learn from the color blindness that occurs naturally in competitive sports.

“When you play football you’re not concerned about whether you’re throwing to a black guy or a white guy or orange guy or Asian guy,” Sherman said. “You’re concerned about getting the ball there, executing your job, winning. You’re concerned about playing for the next guy, playing for your brother. I think that’s something the nation can take from sports. The Olympics was also a great example of how different countries — everybody comes together. Nobody’s sitting there saying I’m not going to run against this guy because he’s black, white, orange, blue. They’re running to compete for their nation to win. They don’t care what color the people on their team are. They’re supporting them. They’re supporting their country and that’s how it should be all the time regardless of circumstance. I think it’ll be a long time before we get there but hopefully we’re trending in that way.”

Hopefully we are. In the grand scheme of things. open and blatant racism happened routinely not that many years ago. Changes have been made, but plenty of changes still need to occur. And while Kaepernick’s decision not to stand for the national anthem will be criticized, his actions have spurred thought and discussion and reflection about where we are as a people, where we’ve come from, and where we need to go. Our ability to discuss and debate those topics in a frank and civilized manner arguably is reason enough to stand in honor of a flag that gives all citizens of the nation the freedom to react to Kaepernick’s words and actions, to form their own opinions, to express them freely and openly, and possibly to emerge with a better understanding of each other’s positions.

31 responses to “Richard Sherman understands Kaepernick’s message, questions the platform

  1. Yeah, there are some big issues for Kap. The form of protest is counterproductive towards his objective, inflaming those against his actions and then instinctively disagreeing with anything he had to say. He also damaged his long term employment hopes, destroyed any remaining endorsement interest he’s had, already losing most of it because of his declining on field results.. And he offered a wardrobe gift to his critics, wearing a Castro shirt to the press conference immediately after the game in question. Hypocrisy much? Maybe Cuba will seize on the error and offer in the very rare instance offer an American athlete asylum instead of vice versa.

  2. Racism is one of many problems, but I find it odd that this is the one thing an athlete takes a stand against. Hey, Kap what about violence against women ? As I recall, a team mate of yours, Ray McDonald was charged with domestic violence, where was your stance then or how did you react when Ray Rice knocked out cold a woman who would be ome his wife ? You stayed silent then, why now ?

  3. “This country is also the same country that had whites and colored signs on the bathroom. We’re still in that country, we’re still in that nation, and that need to be acknowledged and that needs to be changed.”

    What the hell is this clown talking about? There isn’t a bathroom in America that is racially segregated.. in fact it hasnt been that way during Richard Shermans entire existence on planet earth. We’re almost to the point where men and women won’t even have separate bathrooms. “We’re still in that Country, We’re still in that nation” .. what does he mean? the U.S.A? .. He’s not gonna be happy untill America is gone?

  4. Couldn’t agree more with Sherm. Kaepernick’s message isn’t the issue, but he made a very poor choice in his method to voice his opinion. He should have known that by not standing for the National Anthem and the flag, any message he wanted to deliver would be greatly overshadowed by his perceived (and possibly direct) slight against the United States and ultimately what the National Anthem represents.

  5. ¨open and blatant racism happened routinely not that many years ago¨ Not that many years ago? There’s a blatant and open racist one Hillary scandal away from becoming president – right now. Say whatever you will about Kaeperenick – including he’s a bad qb – but if anything useful is going to come from his igniting a national discussion about race, let it be to talk about racism like something that was big ¨many years ago¨.

  6. Sherman’s comments are well thought-out and balanced. It’s hard to disagree with any of his points. Quite a contrast from his Crabtree rant.

  7. You lost me at the end. Why is it so important to continually say that the reason Kaepernick should stand is because we have the freedom not to? If we have the freedom not to, then just live with what he did, engage him if it matters to you, and keep the lecture on what he should be doing to yourself.

  8. As a niners fan it pains me to say but I totally agree with Sherman. Yes, people of color have been oppressed by whites pretty much for the entire history of this country (only bigots will disagree with history). And yes, Kap’s ON POINT message has been lost a little along the way based on the way he went about it. But guess what? People again are talking about racial oppression cause some athlete in an orthodox way took a stand. And THANK GOD! This is a conversation that can not go away until actual change takes place. By the way I’m a white man with a Mexican extended family. Members of my family have been mistreated by cops where when I in the same exact situation as they were was shown preferential treatment. It infuriates me to no end that our self proclaimed land of the free isn’t so much so if you ain’t the right color. So bash Kap all you want for not standing to a song that’s incredibly deep in it’s racist origins (again history). But don’t bash him for speaking the truth how racism still runs deep in this country. And on a side note I think Kap sucks as a QB. On a side side note I’m betting all the dislikes I get on this post are from white people who are perfectly content on how things are today (hint: it’s cause you’r racist, dummies)

  9. Two words … Rev Wright.

    Rev. Wright exposed what is going on in America’s black communities – they’re preaching, teaching and promoting the hatred of white Americans even in their churches. These racist preachers and parents are teaching innocent black American children to hate white Americans – basically from birth.

    No one, group, race, religion or nation is/are more racist than black Americans … none nada zip!

  10. He’s a punk and an idiot.

    He has the right to do what he is doing, and I have the right to call him those names.

    Sherman has the right to stand up and defend him and I have the right to point out that in 50 years we have gone from Bull Connor to Barack Obama, and further to point out that MLK Jr. once said “I have a dream that the day will come when my children will be judged not on the color of their skin, but on the content of their character.”

    That day came long ago, which is why I say that Kaepernick is a punk AND an idiot.

    Sherman is just an idiot.

  11. Well, Richard it’s 2016. Men can piss in women’s bathrooms now if they deem themselves female. I wouldn’t say it’s the same country at all.

  12. We still live in a country where people are profiled and judged because of their skin color. They are attacked verbally and physically for actions of past generations.

    Whites are not considered individually. They are racially profiled by blacks, each and every day.

    You want change? Make a change. You have a problem with a white person, name them. But don’t turn around and do exactly what you’re upset about. Lump them all in.

    And refusing to stand is your right, your right to be a punk. that’s all, just a punk. No one believes you’re genuine Colin.

  13. Nobody’s sitting there saying I’m not going to run against this guy because he’s black, white, orange, blue. They’re running to compete for their nation to win.

    wrong – Islam El Shehaby of Egypt refused to shake hands with his winning opponent, Or Sasson of Israel.

  14. Richard Sherman stated that he was left alone by gangs because of his athleticism.

    Until black people stop killing each other at an alarming rate, there will always be people who fear them.

    Every innocent life the police take is one too many but it pales in comparison to what really goes on in the inner city.

  15. I am hopeful. In the past the media would have held Kap up as an example and criticized anyone who criticized him, even if there were black (google Barkely and black lives matter comments) . But now many even blacks are coming out at commenting about how it was done and the media is not explaining to them why Kap was right and how they are wrong. Maybe the media is changing and that is a good thing. It will help get to the next step.

  16. Richard tell all your black friends to quit voting for democrats! Then maybe you will see a change! You keep voting for them and it only gets worse!

  17. America is a dumpster fire of political correctness. Any random thing that happens to a person of color is instantly on CNN/Twitter and portrayed as a systemic race issue. This country is going to burn one day. You’re welcome China.

  18. the House signs all the money bills – how do dems get responsibility for that? Republicans didn’t care about anything including their own country, their constituents, creating jobs – just making Obama a one-termer – and this after the worst crash since the Great Depression – stop voting for dems? What exactly did the repubs do to garner your vote? Repeat lies often enough and it becomes the truth –
    I love football and hate politics in football – I also think Sherman is as smart as they come – he’s having a pretty good careertoo – love how jealous all the couch potatoes are

  19. Karmi says:
    Aug 30, 2016 4:23 AM
    Two words … Rev Wright.

    Rev. Wright exposed what is going on in America’s black communities – they’re preaching, teaching and promoting the hatred of white Americans even in their churches. These racist preachers and parents are teaching innocent black American children to hate white Americans – basically from birth.

    No one, group, race, religion or nation is/are more racist than black Americans … none nada zip!
    ——–
    And how many KKK marches and or Klan meetings have defiled the minds of White youth?

    Is that why there’s a problem with Police in America? Because you do know the majority of police are white, don’t you?

    Sherman speaks his truth. Kaep stood up, and spoke his. Where I come from you respect a man for standing up and being REAL, rather than these panzies who only care about who their bottom dollar will be effected.

  20. babyjesus69 says:
    So bash Kap all you want for not standing to a song that’s incredibly deep in it’s racist origins
    ——————————-
    First of all the song is not racist whatsoever. The poem, the entire poem that was wrote on a ship during the 1812 war was written by Francis Scott Keys. Was he a slave owner, yes but back in those days that was legal (not saying that was right by anymeans). He also was a lawyer for all blacks and was called and treated just like black people were back then. The majority of the population did not like Keys because he was an advocate for equal rights and didn’t believe that anyone should’ve got that kind of treatment….Although he felt strongly about it, he didn’t do much other than his lawyer duties to fight it. So knock him for that sure

    To write about someone interpreting what you wrote and calling them ignorant or racist, well your just as part of the problem as anyone. Your judging them before you even know them.

  21. Kaep wanted to being attention to an issue by disrespecting his country. Ironic how a major part of his original issue stems from a lack of respect for nationality.

    Things can be better, for sure. Starts with BEING better at one’s core.

    Don’t try fixing a problem by becoming the same problem.

Leave a Reply