RENTON, Wash. (AP) Richard Sherman spoke at length about race relations on Wednesday after an impostor made a social media post under his name that gained attention.
Sherman said he did not agree with everything in the post, but that he was going to use the opportunity and his position to make some points on diversity.
”I think it’s an important message to get out there to kids, especially while you have the platform. I’m just a football player. Who am I to say anything? But as long as people are watching, people respect my opinion, I’m going to give it,” Sherman said. ”And I think it’s incredibly important for people to understand at the end of the day we’re humans. Humanity, let’s celebrate our humanity.”
Article continues below ...
The faux post with Sherman’s name was in response to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Tracing its roots to the fatal 2012 shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida, the Black Lives Matter movement gained national ground after 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.
Since then, deaths of other unarmed black males at the hands of law enforcement officers have inspired protests.
While agreeing with aspects of what was falsely posted under his name, Sherman’s contention was all lives should matter.
”You’re categorized and people are racially profiling people, at the end of the day when we die and our skin decays our bones look the same. You can’t tell if we were black, white, Asian, Latino. You don’t know what they were,” Sherman said. ”This is a time to end that. Obviously I’m one person and there are other people out there speaking out against it but we do what we can.”
Sherman has spoken out before against NFL policies. He was criticized for his angry 20-second rant after the NFC Championship game in January 2014, which sparked a national debate over sportsmanship and racial attitudes.
”Sometimes you have to do your best to use your platform in the best way possible. It’s not always advertising and marketing for these companies and sometimes it’s standing for what you believe in and speaking on what you believe in,” Sherman said. ”Nobody is going to be perfect, nobody is going to agree with everything you say. But stand by what you believe and believe in what you say.”
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL