Richard Sherman: Money doesn’t change the message we’re sending

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One of the common (if not always coherent) criticisms of NFL players who protest is that because they’re rich, they know nothing of the struggles they’re protesting.

Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman takes exception to that. Citing the joint letter supporting criminal justice reform penned by teammate Doug Baldwin and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, Sherman said that real differences can be made by guys, even if they’re referred to as “spolied millionaires” or less charitable labels.

“I think what he’s doing with Goodell and that is fantastic,” Sherman said of Baldwin, via Brady Henderson of ESPN.com. “He’s been doing that work for years now, meeting with police and trying to work to change, and I think that’s what gets missed sometimes with players, because they’re like, ‘Oh, stick to sports, stick to this.’ And a lot of people have used the phrase like ‘privileged athletes.’ ‘Oh, these privileged athletes, you guys are rich millionaires.’

“And it’s like, well, seven years ago I had negative $45 in my account. What was I then? You know what I mean? I was still a black guy, I was still a kid from the hood, and we will never forget those moments.”

Before he went to Stanford, Sherman grew up in Compton, Calif., so he has a connection to the issues of racial inequality and police brutality of which he speaks. So even though he and Baldwin have signed lucrative exemptions, they’re still quite aware of their upbringings.

“What privilege do we have?” Sherman said. “The privilege to be blessed that our hard work and dedication paid off, and we were able to change our families’ lives, to change our lives, and to live better. But that doesn’t change our memories or what we remember happening in our childhood. I think that’s something that sticks true to him [Baldwin] as well, and sticks true to a lot of players.

“That’s why guys are so passionate about coming together and making a difference and making a stand, and doing everything they can in terms of making a difference for social injustice because no matter what, before we had all of this money, and after we’re dead and gone, our skin is still black, we’ll still be looked at a certain way, and all we want is equality for everyone. I don’t think that’s too much to ask, and it’s just great to have a guy like Doug continuing that fight, and continuing to take it beyond what others have done.”

Of course, if they’re not privileged, it must be that they’re disrespecting fallen soliders or hating America. Nope, they’re not doing that either. Perhaps some day, people will listen to the content of their message, without getting hung up on the messengers or the time of delivery.

73 responses to “Richard Sherman: Money doesn’t change the message we’re sending

  1. If he grew up in “the hood”, then he should know know it is the drug dealers,gangs and other criminals that destroy the communities people like he grew up in. He should be targeting them with protests, not the police officers.

  2. And perhaps one day these spoiled black millionaires will start judging others by the content of their character rather than by the color of their skin. We can all dream for that day.

  3. “That’s why guys are so passionate about coming together and making a difference and making a stand, and doing everything they can in terms of making a difference for social injustice because no matter what, before we had all of this money, and after we’re dead and gone, our skin is still black, we’ll still be looked at a certain way, and all we want is equality for everyone.”

    Mr. Sherman.

    I’m white.

    I’ve grown up experiencing the fact that people like you think that I’m racist simply because of my skin color.

    Can you please treat me as an equal instead of painting me as a racist?

    It works both ways.

  4. These guys are killing the NFL. I have found I can get more done when I boycott watching guys like Sherman, and his lying teammate making up false allegations against police.

  5. ““And it’s like, well, seven years ago I had negative $45 in my account. What was I then? You know what I mean? I was still a black guy, I was still a kid from the hood, and we will never forget those moments.”

    LOL, oh God. Few people have money when they’re 22, Richard.

    Yeah, you weren’t always wealthy. Then again, athletic scholarship to Stanford and you think you’re still disadvantaged.

  6. These players are living in fantasy world. The only thing kneeling during the national anthem is doing is bring negative press to the players and the NFL. If they really wanted to institute change, they would dedicate their money and time, outside of working hours, to areas they say they support.

    Taking a knee during the National Anthem is nothing more than a side show and does nothing to help the causes they say they support.

  7. I have been told that because I earned a good education and manage to provide well for my family that this makes me ignorant of the real problem or at least unable to grasp them. What makes this different in Sherman’s case or is this just another left/right thing.

  8. For the fake boycotters who continue posting, how did those “boycotts” of Target and Kellogg’s work out for you? It seems that all of the Target stores are still open and there’s plenty of cereal on the grocery shelves.

  9. I finally agree with Sherman. The simpleminded are the ones hung up on this. Protest in all its’ forms is as American as…………wait……..I just realized……it’s MORE American than anything else. It’s what started this great country.

  10. “One of the common (if not always coherent) criticisms of NFL players who protest is that because they’re rich, they know nothing of the struggles they’re protesting.”

    I don’t recall reading that in the Comments, and they’re full of criticisms.

  11. The problem has always been, the content of the message is misguided, because the country itself isn’t racist. And yes, players have the privilege of making the huge salaries and enjoying the incredible lifestyle because of the USA, and the people who paid the ultimate price. If Richard Sherman thinks he’ll be in the same lifestyle in another country, he’s in for a rude awakening.

    No doubt some players experience inequality growing up, but much of those situations were related to socioeconomic conditions. Police aren’t responsible for out of wedlock births, gang violence, and poor personal choices which dwarf police misconduct.

    The reluctance of these players to address what’s going on in Chicago speaks volumes about their lack of clarity and focus on the real reasons for inequality. And it’s obvious the media is taking the side of the players, which is sad beyond belief. The longer this farce continues, the more players are hurting themselves.

  12. Good read. He talks a lot of trash and the field and whatever, but he’s a pretty smart guy. I might dislike him as a player, the man’s got a point. I don’t really care about the anthem protests they can do whatever they feel they need to. Media makes it kinda dumb to watch so I just tune in a couple minutes after the start, no biggie.

  13. What Content? More platitudes, racial inequality, police brutality. Name the racial inequality. Name the police brutality. Name the justice reform. Give examples otherwise, it’s just complaining. Justice reform, more of a I didn’t do nuthin approach.

  14. Even as a Hawks fan I know Sherman can talk too much or not know when to just walk away. However, he does have his positive moments. He’s just another dude at the end of the day. A dude who happens to be a shut down corner.

    Go HAWKS

  15. “What privilege do we have?” Sherman said. “The privilege to be blessed that our hard work and dedication paid off, and we were able to change our families’ lives, to change our lives, and to live better.

    Here’s a thought Richard….Why don’t you take that as a message to the people…. That hard work and perseverance pays off in a person’s life and that if everyone pitched in and did their share, the world would be a better place.

  16. Before he went to Stanford, Sherman grew up in Compton, Calif., so he has a connection to the issues of racial inequality and police brutality of which he speaks.

    Interesting how the 3rd component of Compton, gang violence, drug abuse and mayhem, are never included. Why is it that the only components that need change are the external ones.

    Clean up your own back yard before you go complaining about the other guy. But that takes real work. Can’t just blow it off on “the man”>

  17. The issue is the content of their message is built on a false narrative. The idea that innocent blacks are being killed by the police everyday is absurd and patently false. And I’m sorry but a multimillionaire who attended Stanford for free wanting to have a conversation about inequality is ridiculous.

  18. What Sherman and most of these guys miss is that outside of America there are precious few places that a kid from the hood has a chance to go to college at all (much less in exchange for playing a game) and then the opportunity to become part of the top 1% wealthiest people in the world. America has never been nor never will be perfect – but it’s this complete lack of awareness of these guys as to how blessed they are to live in a country with so much opportunity that rubs me the wrong way. Perhaps if their message was “I know life is unfair and there are areas we need to improve but nowhere else in the world do you have a better chance to change your and your families lives than America” they’d come across as less entitled, clueless and arrogant and could unite people of all backgrounds instead of alienating much of their fan base.

  19. Enough with this identity politics cult. Its a dead end. The fans are not oppressing you, the owners are not oppressing you, the sport is not oppressing you. Why create a situation where you PURPOSELY create an atmosphere where the only thing that matters to you is skin color? If they actually invited the fans to do something to assist in their protesting and talk about togetherness you would be surprised at the response. Instead the flag, the fans, the anthem are the target because its easy. Hire buses to take fans to march on Washington or your local courthouse. Thats where the change is needed, thats where the protesting will have the most effect. We have players kneeling about gender pay gaps, water quality, storm cleanup, besides the unfortunate all too common reasons. Something that started out with such meaning and conviction has turned to a pop-culture catch-all similar to Cam’s dab…even infants doing it at the playground with no meaning at all behind it. Lastly, you can’t be divisive and at the same time preach about inclusion. While racists certainly don’t have a common skin color they most certainly do have the exact same mental capacity.

  20. I finally agree with Sherman. Protest in all its’ forms is as American as…………wait……..I just realized……it’s MORE American than anything else. It’s what started this great country.

  21. “Of course, if they’re not privileged, it must be that they’re disrespecting fallen soliders or hating America. Nope, they’re not doing that either. Perhaps some day, people will listen to the content of their message, without getting hung up on the messengers or the time of delivery.”
    ________________________________________________________________

    Really???? The messengers and the time of delivery are crucial. Anyone that speaks to persuade knows that. What an ignorant statement.

    Tiresome.

  22. ““What privilege do we have?” Sherman said. “The privilege to be blessed that our hard work and dedication paid off, and we were able to change our families’ lives, to change our lives, and to live better. But that doesn’t change our memories or what we remember happening in our childhood.”

    That’s right…you have the privilege to work hard and change your family…that’s why all the bad stuff is just a memory. Did you want us to go back in time and make it right?

    My father would always say…”Life isn’t fair” and “the luckiest people always tend to be the hardest workers”

    Work hard, stay in school and don’t break the law…that doesn’t guaranty success, but it sure enhances your chances.

  23. The reason that the content of the players’ message was lost is the manner in which they chose to bring attention to it. The players made the choice to kneel during the anthem knowing this would anger a large portion of the country. You reap what you sow.

  24. Players need to understand that sports are an escape from politics,economic worries,crime, etc. if sports becomes just more of the same why bother. Ratings are down and if they keep going down salaries will surely follow. They how can they all aspire to be the highest paid. Biting the hand that feeds you never makes sense.

  25. What message is that, sherman?
    That you’re all a bunch of ungrateful clowns?
    Message received.

  26. But what is your message Richard? That the police are all pigs and Castro a hero? That the wives of police murderers should be recompensed for the death or imprisonment of the killer husband? Because that’s what Kaep’s been doing and if you support Kaep that’s what you’re doing. Are you just saying that it’s ok to lie on Injury Reports about significant injuries for half a season or more?

  27. Of course, if they’re not privileged, it must be that they’re disrespecting fallen soliders or hating America. Nope, they’re not doing that either. Perhaps some day, people will listen to the content of their message, without getting hung up on the messengers or the time of delivery. AWESOME stuff keep it up Darin

  28. Its like saying white people are privileged because they are white. Tons of white kids grow up in some less than stellar conditions but because they are white they can’t know anything about hardship. We need to agree that the socioeconomic problems with capitalism are universally felt, but capitalism is a strong system. We should agree to help each other, but we also need to do our best to help ourselves.

  29. Lemmy Aksyadis says:
    October 18, 2017 at 7:34 am
    Before he went to Stanford, Sherman grew up in Compton, Calif., so he has a connection to the issues of racial inequality and police brutality of which he speaks.

    Interesting how the 3rd component of Compton, gang violence, drug abuse and mayhem, are never included. Why is it that the only components that need change are the external ones.

    Clean up your own back yard before you go complaining about the other guy. But that takes real work. Can’t just blow it off on “the man”>

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Well said Sir!

  30. There has to be an uncomfortable element in the discourse for anything to change. Whether it’s the LGBT movement, or women’s suffrage, race, it doesn’t matter. People have to be made to feel uncomfortable. And especially white people, because we’re comfortable.

    We still have no clue what being born white means…. Yes, because you were born white, you have advantages that are systemically, culturally, psychologically there. And they’ve been built up and cemented for hundreds of years. But many people can’t look at it. It’s too difficult. It can’t be something that is on their plate on a daily basis. People want to hold their position, people want the status quo, people don’t want to give that up. And until it’s given up, it’s not going be fixed.

    “If you were born white, you automatically have a monstrous advantage — educationally, economically, culturally, in this society and all the systemic roadblocks that exist, whether it’s in a judicial sense, or a neighborhood sense with laws, zoning, education,” he went on. “We have huge problems in that regard that are very complicated, but take leadership, time, and real concern to try to solve. It’s a tough one because people don’t really want to face it.”

    – Gregg Popovich (coach of ungrateful and spoiled multimillionaire athletes that are spewing false narratives to white people about inequality)

  31. When you use a symbol of our country to protest then we don’t care what your message is. We aren’t going to listen when you do it that way. If you guys had a little bit of intelligence you would have understood that by now.

  32. “What privilege do we have?” Sherman said. “The privilege to be blessed that our hard work and dedication paid off, and we were able to change our families’ lives, to change our lives, and to live better.

    Gee, that’s the same privilege I have! The white kid across the street, well he ended up broke, on drugs and in jail. The white kid down the street, he studied, worked hard, went to college and is now a millionaire. Me. I’m somewhere in the middle of them. Just like, well most kids. How about all the poor white kids whose only option was to join the service to have a prayer of getting out of their situation?

    White Privilege is the lamest, laziest of all the memes.

  33. All valid points Richard. So do something besides kneeling for 90 seconds. NFL players have massive resources and are looked up to in their communities. Get out there and make a difference. Don’t bitch that the government needs to do something and then ride home for the day. Monday is an off day for players as is January through July for most, what do you do when the cameras are off? Because when they are on you’re just taking a knee.

  34. Maybe if they concentrated on fixing Chicago, a model could be used to fix Detroit, Baltimore, etc. but I see nothing happening except a letter and a foundation set up.

  35. Mr. Sherman,
    With all due respect, shut your big loud mouth. If you cared so deeply about the issues you kneel for, you wouldn’t have time to kneel. Get out and make a difference instead of flapping your gums expecting someone else to do the ‘dirty’ work. Not to mention the irony here, coming from a guy who graduated from Stanford with a silver spoon in his mouth.

  36. rundmtrees17 says:
    October 18, 2017 at 8:52 am

    Its like saying white people are privileged because they are white.

    *****

    YES, random white person, that is EXACTLY what Sherman is saying. And it is astonishing so many people as so determined to look away from the simple truth. smh

  37. florida76 says:
    October 18, 2017 at 7:21 am
    The problem has always been, the content of the message is misguided, because the country itself isn’t racist. And yes, players have the privilege of making the huge salaries and enjoying the incredible lifestyle because of the USA, and the people who paid the ultimate price. If Richard Sherman thinks he’ll be in the same lifestyle in another country, he’s in for a rude awakening.
    ___________________________

    See that’s the thing sports pays everywhere. It’s not an American only thing and it’s ignorant to think so. Premier league players averaged $3 million NFL players $1.9 million (2013 numbers). The Indian Premier League (cricket) payed out $4.5 million on average. It’s not American, it’s not even Western countries; there is no “American privilege” these players benefit from elite athletes make bank all around the world.

  38. It’s funny how people mention he’s a multi-millionaire with a Stanford education as if he was given that. Most of you probably know, in order to obtain a college scholarship you must have talent, knowledge of the game and drive. Combine that with the academic standards that you have to adhere to at an institution like Stanford, and wallah, you have a really brilliant dude who worked his behind off to get where he’s at. Though he’s had these positive things happen for him, he’s not blind enough to understand that everybody doesn’t have that opportunity and probably 95 percent of the kids he grew up with didn’t. So to speak up for those who weren’t afforded the same opportunities he was due to his physical talents is a rather noble and righteous cause. And to the argument that most college students are broke, if you’ve ever attended an ivy-league school or something in that realm, you’d realize that’s beyond false. My institution was like a car and fashion show.

  39. Also in order to clean up your own backyard, the local government has to take a concerted interest in providing opportunities for the residents in those neighborhoods. So that should debunk any callous statements about what about Chicago, lol, do you know they’re closing down a majority of public schools in the city of Chicago. Do you know what kind of issues stem from that?

  40. Playing sports is one way for minorities to be upwardly mobile. Therefore there is no surprise that most NFL players come from poor backgrounds. In fact, even the sons and daughters of ex-athletes may not be born with a silver spoon in their mouth because many pro athletes were poorly paid, as late as the 1980s and even 1990s. John Taylor, who was a star wide receiver for the SB winning 49ers, retired and drove a big truck for a living. One of the 49er linebackers from that era retired and became a roofing contractor. Careers were short, lasting an average of 4 years in the NFL, and players (except star quarterbacks) were making a minimum of half a million per year as they are doing now.

  41. They aren’t kneeling for themselves, imbeciles. They’re kneeling for those without a voice. They have the means and the platform and the opportunity.

  42. natijim185 says:
    .
    I forget what’s the message?
    =========================================

    No one really knows or cares.

  43. @ David Bennett

    If he grew up in “the hood”, then he should know know it is the drug dealers,gangs and other criminals that destroy the communities people like he grew up in. He should be targeting them with protests, not the police officers.

    ———-

    Yes but when the police in those communities use stereotypes and profiling to arrest young minorities that cycle never ends. If you think little Johnny in the suburbs getting busted with a sack of weed is treated the same as Little Johnny in the ghetto then you are extremely naive. That in a nutshell is the problem.

  44. His mouth ran last night on Seattle News, talking about CK and the issue that he isn’t playing or that no team has signed him. Yet, the Seahawks passed on him as well as the Titans. Poor performance in the tryout, an attitude, and a girl friend problem weren’t mentioned. Sherman and you can throw Bennett into the mix as well are great for stirring things up with little substance.

  45. Michael E says:
    October 18, 2017 at 9:09 am
    When you use a symbol of our country to protest then we don’t care what your message is. We aren’t going to listen when you do it that way. If you guys had a little bit of intelligence you would have understood that by now.
    ————————————————————————————————————————————

    Yes Michael E. I am pretty sure that all of us unintelligent monkeys can’t figure that out. Since intelligence is at a premium in your household, let me throw this out.

    The purpose of the knee (with the blessing of Nate Boyer) was to respectfully and peacefully bring awareness to an issue that many in America would prefer to pretend doesn’t exist. Guess what mission accomplished – the world is talking about it. Realistically, most will not change their thought pattern regardless of vehicle because frankly most won’t confront the uncomfortable truths hidden in their own hearts and minds.

    Let’s not re-write history, Dr. King wasn’t loved and respected for his message or his method, e.g. he was hosed, spat on and eventually killed all while working in a peaceful yet persistent way. Here’s is a reaction by law enforcment to the I have a dream speech…

    I just wanted to add a quote from the FBI response to King’s speech on August 30, 1963 because it is so different from how we regard the speech today:
    In the light of King’s powerful demagogic speech yesterday [sic — actually given on August 28] he stands head and shoulders above all other Negro leaders put together when it comes to influencing great masses of Negroes. We must mark him now, if we have not done so before, as the most dangerous Negro of the future in this Nation from the standpoint of communism, the Negro and national security.
    Soon afterwards the FBI began bugging King’s office and home telephone lines, at Hoover’s instigation but with Robert Kennedy’s approval.

    My point Mr. Michael E. is the it doesn’t really matter how, what and when the awareness is attempted, they are all hated: King, X, Carmichael, Jackson, Abernathy, etc. They are all hated and you won’t listen either way.

    So allow me to say what many won’t, Thank you for allowing us to have a little money and moderate access to things you have. Apologies for believing that we shouldn’t be systematically eliminated while we have crime and murder in our communities. Feel free to come in to our communities and have your way. Thanks to all of the very fine people in this blog also.

    What I really wish is that we could just sing the “whole” anthem at the beginning of each game, at least we wouldn’t have to pretend anymore.

  46. “…and doing everything they can in terms of making a difference for social injustice because no matter what, before we had all of this money, and after we’re dead and gone, our skin is still black, we’ll still be looked at a certain way, and all we want is equality for everyone….”

    How does your skin color have anything to do with it? Your skin color doesn’t determine your income. It’s about life choices.

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