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Richard Sherman refuses to answer questions at press conference over shootings

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 18:  Richard Sherman #25 of the Seattle Seahawks walks on the field during the second quarter of the home opening NFL game against the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Coliseum on September 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images) Getty Images

A new form of NFL player protest has emerged regarding concerns over police misconduct involving African-American citizens. On Wednesday, Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman refused to answer questions at his weekly media availability in response two recent shootings of African-American men by police: Terence Crutcher in Tulsa and Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte.

“So today, obviously we’re playing San Fran and they’re a great opponent,” Sherman said, via Curtis Crabtree of KJR and PFT. “They’ve got some weapons. Torrey Smith, Carlos Hyde. They’re running Chip Kelly’s offense. They do a great job. They’ve been getting yards, moving the ball, scoring points. 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.”

Sherman then walked away.

League rules allow players to kneel or sit during the national anthem. However, league rules mandate that players make themselves available to the media at least twice per week during the regular season. Although Sherman isn’t required to provide responsive answers (e.g., he can repeatedly say, “I’m just here so I won’t get fined”), he still must field questions and answer them. Sherman also could say, “I’m only going to give meaningful answers to questions about the problem of police brutality against African-Americans,” forcing the Q&A away from football and toward the issue that prompted Sherman to refuse to answer questions on Wednesday.

His approach, if it continues, sets up a potential showdown with the league office, which has been treading lightly when it comes to the anthem protests and the underlying reasons for them. If the league fines Sherman for not talking, other players could join in with the gesture; they possibly will do so even if there is no fine.

Regardless of how Sherman and other players choose to proceed, all players should keep in mind that plenty of reporters agree that the problem needs to be addressed, and that those people are paid to show up and ask questions. Shutting the process down squanders an avenue for getting a message out to fans, and it also unnecessarily inflicts a potential hardship on people who support the cause, and who are simply trying to do their jobs.

UPDATE 5:00 p.m. ET: Sherman reportedly reversed course after exiting the press conference, opting to answer questions in the locker room.

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63 Responses to “Richard Sherman refuses to answer questions at press conference over shootings”
  1. elmerbrownelmerbrown says: Sep 21, 2016 4:31 PM

    Why don’t the athletes go back and live in the neighborhood they grew up in ????? No really give us an honest answer ?

  2. MiamiDolphinsNation says: Sep 21, 2016 4:31 PM

    Since when did Mr Sherman become Attorney General of the US?

  3. JSpicoli says: Sep 21, 2016 4:34 PM

    So what?

    Play football heroes.

  4. mataug says: Sep 21, 2016 4:37 PM

    Shutting the process down squanders an avenue for getting a message out to fans, and it also unnecessarily inflicts a potential hardship on people who support the cause, and who are simply trying to do their jobs.
    What he might be trying to tell you guys is that you need to do more than say that you support the cause of equality & do something like some of the players have started.

  5. thegreatwhitehope says: Sep 21, 2016 4:37 PM

    Kaepernick going to have to pony up on his alleged death threats. That’s not something you can be vague and flippant about in public without revealing all the details to 49ers FO, NFL Security, Santa Clara PD, and in this case the FBI. There are a lot of other people in potential danger when he’s on the field beside himself if there is any legitimacy to his complaints.

  6. biggredbird76 says: Sep 21, 2016 4:39 PM

    Right on Sherm, the sad part is, there is always going to be those who recognize the issue and tries to justify the issue.

    But hey, I might as well say it before PFT readers do. More whites are killed by the police so blacks or any other race in the country should take it easy on this stuff.

  7. bleedingfacemask says: Sep 21, 2016 4:39 PM

    Here’s the first paragraph from the NFL’s own website regarding their media access policy:

    “The NFL’s media access policy ensures that national and local media have regular access to the game’s biggest stars, head coaches and other key personnel. Giving fans an inside look at their favorite teams deepens their connection with the league, increases the NFL’s audience, and keeps the focus on the game.”

    The questions Sherman was asked took the focus away from the game.

    There is no potential showdown with the league office coming.

  8. mmack66 says: Sep 21, 2016 4:40 PM

    Looks like he answered it, to me.

  9. kepickle says: Sep 21, 2016 4:41 PM

    wasn’t is alot easier to just talk football ,after all don’t do the crime & you won’t die

  10. onereasonableman says: Sep 21, 2016 4:43 PM

    If the NFL was smart, they would fine the players who choose to violate policy by not answering questions and then donate the money collected to Black Lives Matter.

    That would provide a way for the players to protest and put their money to good use in support of the public their protests seek to help.

  11. sire703 says: Sep 21, 2016 4:44 PM

    elmerbrownelmerbrown says:
    Sep 21, 2016 4:31 PM
    Why don’t the athletes go back and live in the neighborhood they grew up in ????? No really give us an honest answer ?
    ———————

    Do you really want to live in the town you grew up in?

    I see what you’re trying to do here, but most normal people leave where they grew up to have different experiences.

    Nice try though.

  12. thereisalwaysnextyear says: Sep 21, 2016 4:44 PM

    Maybe what Sherman should say is when pulled over by police and ordered to stay in your car DON’T get out. And then if you are dumb enough to ignore their instructions DON’T have a fun, and finally if you are dumb enough to have a gun DROP it when they tell you to! This is not racial. This is stupidity. In Charlotte this person wouldn’t have been shot (by a black officer by the way) if he had just listened and not done what he did. It’s not rocket science.

  13. cuda1234 says: Sep 21, 2016 4:44 PM

    If they would stop playing the race card and talk about an over-sized government that intrudes on the freedom of every-day people and has the right to use lethal force against its citizens, I might join their outrage. However, playing the race card and rioting in the streets is not going to convince me to join the movement.

  14. raiderfanatic4life says: Sep 21, 2016 4:44 PM

    I’m sorry is he talking about black people killing black people because that goes on more than anything else. Oh maybe he’s talking about those black people who were caring around knives and not getting on the ground when directed by the police officer displaying a total disregard for the law. Maybe Richard Sherman should try being a white police officer doing a routine traffic stop who gets a bullet put two is dome because some on educated African-American drug dealer has no regard for human life and decided to end his without giving it a second thought. Maybe if the shoe was on the other foot Mr. Sherman would actually have a clue. Instead he’s just another finger pointer like Kaepernick pointing the finger the wrong direction.

  15. lightninhopkins says: Sep 21, 2016 4:45 PM

    Athletes are given a stage to use to call out injustice. Good to see them using it again.

  16. dreadnok89 says: Sep 21, 2016 4:47 PM

    Hmmmm I wonder why a black guy gets shot by the cops. Could it be record cop shootings by blacks against nay race of cop? They just don’t wanna follow the law period. If a cop tells you anything you listen. If he’s wrong wage a complaint.

  17. tennesseeoilers says: Sep 21, 2016 4:50 PM

    elmerbrownelmerbrown said:

    “Why don’t the athletes go back and live in the neighborhood they grew up in ????? No really give us an honest answer?”

    I’m sure the reasons vary–especially since I can’t think of a single white or black sport star who ever moved back to the neighborhood they grew up in. I’m sure there are a few here and there who have, but I’ve never heard of it.

  18. mackcarrington says: Sep 21, 2016 4:50 PM

    Fans shouldn’t get upset or angry at players for wading into current, relevant, social issues.
    They should get upset over the 24-hour news cycle and the constant need to feed it by dragging players and coaches and any bystanders into it. Get angry at twitter and the dozens of ways people can publicize their opinions the instant they form in their heads. This is the world we now live in. If you want to pull the covers (sheets for some of you) over your heads, that’s fine, but things aren’t going to be gone when you peek out from under them.

  19. bert1913 says: Sep 21, 2016 4:50 PM

    Sherman is a lot smarter than the reporters asking him those questions

  20. skittlesareyum says: Sep 21, 2016 4:54 PM

    dreadnok89 says:
    Sep 21, 2016 4:47 PM
    Hmmmm I wonder why a black guy gets shot by the cops. Could it be record cop shootings by blacks against nay race of cop? They just don’t wanna follow the law period. If a cop tells you anything you listen. If he’s wrong wage a complaint.

    ——————–

    Blind obedience to authority. Just what this country was founded on.

    Oh, wait.

  21. allangabriel25 says: Sep 21, 2016 4:55 PM

    He’s right, young black men are getting killed in the street for no reason. Where I disagree is the focus of his argument, since 62% of black murder victims are killed by black offenders. Too many people of all races are getting killed for no reason, including police officers. We should all be protesting the violent nature of our country; the tension it’s causing, and trigger-happy results on law enforcement and criminals alike.

  22. xevious02 says: Sep 21, 2016 4:55 PM

    Let’s be honest here. What you have is a culture that doesn’t respect the law. That’s why they are criminals, whether Black or white. If you respect the law and listen then perhaps you won;t get killed, white or Black. I have a hard time listening to people argue racism when Black Officers are shooting Blacks and White Officers are shooting whites….and vice versa. The Media loves a story and even if FBI numbers and studies say differently it doesn’t matter. Perception is reality, even the false media driven perception.

  23. doggeatdogg says: Sep 21, 2016 4:57 PM

    Singers, shut up and sing. Actors, shut up and act. Players, shut up and play the game. I’m not interested in your uneducated and uninformed opinion. Your are not my role model and have no influence in my life. I teach my children accordingly. Maybe Michael Jordan was right after all.

  24. mongo3401 says: Sep 21, 2016 4:58 PM

    I think he handled it perfectly. Now protest like that I can accept. He helps people and he was clear and concise I his answers. The rest should do the same. He is 100% right. People are ignoring the kneel or sit down bravado, it does nothing

    Thank you Richard Sherman for your stand on issues and congratulate you on the way you handle it. All should do the same. Bravo 👍👍

  25. MiamiDolphinsNation says: Sep 21, 2016 4:59 PM

    Wonder what Johnny football thinks about this whole issue?
    He’s had more run ins with the poleez than anyone else.

  26. jayhawk6 says: Sep 21, 2016 5:00 PM

    If Roger Goodell were as smart and articulate as Richard Sherman, the NFL would be a much better organization.

  27. ramfanmatt says: Sep 21, 2016 5:01 PM

    He’s a football player. He shouldn’t have to answer questions on it. His job is to distract Americans from the nonsense in our world. Sports are our escape.

  28. milehighmagik7 says: Sep 21, 2016 5:06 PM

    Players should get involved and try to help fix issues and I applaud them for doing so. However, the Black lives matter protests needs to start within the black community. Yes 2 more Black lives were taken this week by police but roughly 120 Black lives were taken today and everyday bu other Black people. No media protest, no unity on field for that. It’s always the same Police take a black life and everyone saw or heard the crime and come forward but when it’s black on black no one sees or hears anything

  29. sire703 says: Sep 21, 2016 5:11 PM

    doggeatdogg says:
    Sep 21, 2016 4:57 PM
    Singers, shut up and sing. Actors, shut up and act. Players, shut up and play the game. I’m not interested in your uneducated and uninformed opinion. Your are not my role model and have no influence in my life. I teach my children accordingly. Maybe Michael Jordan was right after all.
    ————————————

    So who is qualified to express their opinion on social issues to you?

  30. jr4real says: Sep 21, 2016 5:14 PM

    Anyone want to hear Sherman talk anyway?

  31. idpfantasyfootball says: Sep 21, 2016 5:16 PM

    Reporters want (need) something to report on…
    Sherman gave them something to report…

    Where is the problem??

  32. takeachancellor says: Sep 21, 2016 5:20 PM

    Milehighmagik You act like police gunning citizens down is the same as gang members doing it. Gang members, if caught, are punished for it. Police officers, who should be held to a higher standard, are given a pass. Stop pretending gang members murdering each other is the same as cops murdering citizens with their hands up.

  33. alanhaysgrant says: Sep 21, 2016 5:31 PM

    When black men—a lot of them—are being killed by police officers, there’s a problem. Not being pulled over, not being harassed, or arrested, but shot and killed. These “incidents” have been taped and viewed by us all. These “incidents” are too numerous and horrible to reach any conclusion other than there’s something wrong.

    If you’re not black, or more accurately if you don’t typically associate with anyone who’s black( like the majority of PFT fans) you have the option of dismissing this problem.

    That doesn’t make you racist, but black lives aren’t necessarily sacred to you, so when they’re lost, it just doesn’t resonate with you. We get that. So to get your attention, we discuss things that do resonate with you—like the flag and the anthem. Colin Kaepernick, the Black Lives Matter movement, and so many of us are simply asking a question: “do you folks—those who view the flag and anthem, etc. as vital parts of American liberty and justice—consider black men to be American citizens who live under those American ideals?”
    Its a pretty simple question, actually.

  34. fatsolio says: Sep 21, 2016 5:33 PM

    How many of these people who get shot by cops just put their hands up and get shot? Most either have guns, are criminals or don’t listen to the cops and make the situation worse. Not trying to defend the police but just stating reality.

    I also like all these black athletes standing up and talking about violence in black communities like in Chicago. Oh wait, they don’t give a crap about that.

    The whole kneeling down crap is just the latest example of those these athletes think they are more important than they are. Talk about huge egos.

  35. numba1wiscosportsfan says: Sep 21, 2016 5:33 PM

    Hot political takes from the sports crowd! OH BOY

  36. weepingjebus says: Sep 21, 2016 5:34 PM

    I thought we elected a community organizer to take care of all this. What gives?

  37. Emmanuel Goldstein says: Sep 21, 2016 5:35 PM

    The ignorance on display in these posts is appalling.

    You people need to keep in mind that many of the people that have died at the hands of police brutality WERE following orders and did NOT have a gun. A police officer must be confronted with imminent danger to him/herself and/or the general public in order to use lethal force. Terence Crutcher did not have a weapon and was not acting in a manner consistent with “imminent danger”. Heck, even Donald Trump is out there today saying that the police got this one wrong. Open your eyes people.

  38. bsizemore68 says: Sep 21, 2016 5:35 PM

    Why does it seems to be Okay for black folks to use the N word ( as King did today ) but not for white folks…Why is it Okay for black men to kill hundreds of black men and children in Chicago and they say nothing. If the protesters want to protest where there is a real bad murder rate, then go and do a Leroy Brown in south Chicago…however you might get cap. Bill

  39. tedmurph says: Sep 21, 2016 5:38 PM

    Tell me the one again where this is disrespect for the troops.

  40. collectordude says: Sep 21, 2016 5:49 PM

    Keep politics out of the NFL.
    I know, wishful thinking.

  41. thebirdofprey says: Sep 21, 2016 5:49 PM

    PFT has some of the most ignorant and uneducated posters I see online anywhere. The one guy saying more white people get shot by police don’t understand statistics and the fact white people make up 62 % and black 12.2 %. The other says black people need to listen to police officers is the solution, thanks there genius I am sure Philando Castile was doing just that and was unarmed on front of his girlfriend and kid when he was killed.

  42. vicnocal says: Sep 21, 2016 5:57 PM

    I haven’t seen the Charlotte one, but in the Terence Crutcher one, the cops are telling him to stand still and stay put, and he just keeps walking, and walking, and walking, and walking towards his car as if to get something from inside.

    Idiot died because he was stupid, not because he was black.

  43. granadafan says: Sep 21, 2016 6:00 PM

    cuda1234 says:
    Sep 21, 2016 4:44 PM
    If they would stop playing the race card and talk about an over-sized government that intrudes on the freedom of every-day people and has the right to use lethal force against its citizens, I might join their outrage. However, playing the race card and rioting in the streets is not going to convince me to join the movement.
    ==============================================

    What does your far right wing view of the so-called “over-sized government that intrudes on the freedom of every-day people” have to do with black athletes objecting to black people getting killed by police? You have a knee jerk reaction to the “race card” when it’s clearly a race issue. That seems to be your problem, not theirs. Clearly you’re incapable of understanding or empathizing with the message the athletes are saying.

  44. ReligionIsForIdiots says: Sep 21, 2016 6:02 PM

    Lol at all these old white folks acting as if there isn’t a problem here that needs to be addressed.

  45. charliecharger says: Sep 21, 2016 6:15 PM

    I wonder what Jesus would have to say about all this. I bet he’d say something. There are plenty of Christian churches across the nation that are going to be passing around a basket next Sunday. I’d want to hear them speak up before I put one more nickel in that basket.

  46. purpleguy says: Sep 21, 2016 6:18 PM

    Yep, significant societal change can take place in the mere days between games where players kneel or hold hands.

    And check out the person above characterizing and stereotyping others as “old white folks” — wonder if that person knows the definition of hypocrite or if they’re too busy criticizing others for problems they similarly are doing nothing to remedy.

  47. charger383 says: Sep 21, 2016 6:24 PM

    Sherman, You get a lot of money because you can play football not because we care what you want to say

  48. dukeblue12 says: Sep 21, 2016 6:32 PM

    Black on black crime is not accepted by the black community any more than white on white crime is in the white community. It also doesn’t absolve the police of their sworn duty to protect and serve, not kill. The NYC bomber this past weekend was apprehended Monday without being killed. The police followed Dylan Roof (who murdered 9 parishioners in a bible study group) in a car for 37 MILES before apprehending him alive and even taking him to Burger King before jail. Terrence Crutcher went from car trouble to a body bag.

    If you can’t see why these athletes are protesting and/or speaking out, it’s because you don’t want to. Which is fine, just step aside and let those that want to discuss and promote change do so.

  49. randsomed says: Sep 21, 2016 6:50 PM

    For all of you that say you don’t care what Richard Sherman says, you don’t want to hear the political views of professional athletes, I have a simple solution for you:
    Don’t click on the article.

  50. todoubled says: Sep 21, 2016 6:54 PM

    The fans that are shooting down Sherman here are the same fans that cheer him on Sunday when he makes an interception. You say you just want Sherman to play the game. The dude is a human being with feelings just like you and me. The NFL is comprised of some 70% African American players and most of you are so selfish b/c you can’t accept that Sherman and kaep look at life differently than you do yet if they shared your views you’d secretly be happy. I hope more protest takes place and I hope this issue just continues to fester and become a bigger issue so that you atypical white, privileged commenters can just continue to show your veiled racist views more and more.

  51. jmethane says: Sep 21, 2016 7:02 PM

    Also still adjusting to adults having opinions that seem like they came from a 15 year old.

  52. fennycourtney says: Sep 21, 2016 7:05 PM

    I’m sick of this racisist b.s. , more white people each year are killed by police than any other ethnisity. If you really want to solve this problem of abuse of power or ill training we cannot segregate issue and also be more educated about the issue of your going to speak about it

  53. oldlthrneck says: Sep 21, 2016 7:12 PM

    ReligionIsForIdiots says:
    Sep 21, 2016 6:02 PM

    Lol at all these old white folks acting as if there isn’t a problem here that needs to be addressed.

    ———————————————————-

    That’s the most ignorant and disrespectful thing I have seen on this site. I take complete exception to your characterization of “old white folks”. I am 67 yrs old and served 22 yrs in the Marine Corps. I didn’t fight for their right to protest, they already have that right guaranteed by the Constitution. I fought to preserve that right, and I support everyone of them for their courage and willingness to incur the wrath and hatred of most of the people on this site and America. These athletes are right on. We have a problem in this country and it is not getting better. You are all idiots. Unless you are black, you have no concept of what it is like to live in this country as a black man. I am lily white, and even with the discussion I had with my fellow marines, that were black, I still don’t have any idea what it is like, but as a human being I do everything I can to try to have a little understanding, compassion, and empathy for the people that I have seen suffer from the bigotry and injustice of our society, since I was a child.

  54. silverhornet says: Sep 21, 2016 7:17 PM

    I’m white, so my opinion is meaningless.

  55. shiftyshellshocked says: Sep 21, 2016 7:39 PM

    Respect your parents, get to school in the mornings, study hard and work hard. Also respect authority. Rules to live by.

  56. wartface says: Sep 21, 2016 7:45 PM

    The NFL is in the entertainment business.

    I’m no longer entertained.

    I’ve got other options to waste my time on… Bye, bye.😎

  57. bradwins says: Sep 21, 2016 7:50 PM

    The guy gives a thoughtful and well reasoned statement on a serious issue and here we are focusing on the protocol of the press conference. Get some perspective.

  58. flairoholic says: Sep 21, 2016 8:10 PM

    Hands up don’t shoot never happened. He didn’t say that, that’s a lie to perpetuate all you people who want to punish police for protecting us, while your fine and dandy with criminals running rampage in our neighborhoods and threatening to kill cops.

  59. thegreatwhitehope says: Sep 21, 2016 9:19 PM

    Crutcher looked to be about 350 pounds, hopped up on angel dust.

  60. mpasse says: Sep 22, 2016 12:37 AM

    Sherman is a bright guy, he graduated from Stanford with a real degree, and he makes some very valid points.

  61. stephenpaulfreese says: Sep 22, 2016 7:12 AM

    Yahoo Sports conducted a poll of NFL fans with shocking results.

    According to the poll, more football fans oppose Kaepernick’s protest than support it. Adults over 55 are especially opposed, and most fans overall think he needs to select a different method for protesting racial injustice. Even among the black community, only 63% are behind him.

    And when it comes to how many NFL fans would be willing to turn off their TVs and stop watching entirely if protest continues — especially with more players joining — the number is staggering. A whopping 44% of fans say they’d boycott the NFL.

  62. rex2020 says: Sep 22, 2016 8:22 AM

    Coureageous athletes they are. All the killings accross the country would add up to a quiet weekend here in chicago. Don’t want to see innocent people of any race killed. Who does?
    Yes there is a problem but there will always be some bad cops. You CANNOT judge them all by the actions a of few! You don’t like it done to you then don’t do it to others! Simple as that.

    God can we talk about footbal please?! Seeing that it doesn’t exist here in Chicago LOL

  63. skawh says: Sep 25, 2016 4:48 PM

    thegreatwhitehope says:
    Sep 21, 2016 9:19 PM
    Crutcher looked to be about 350 pounds, hopped up on angel dust.
    ——–
    So what you’re saying is Police now have the authority to shoot and kill any person who is intoxicated? Some ‘greatwhitehope’ you turned out to be

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