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Richard Sherman Discusses BLM, Tackling Violence in America: ‘Skin Color Wouldn’t Matter If Nobody Told You It Did’

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Richard Sherman is speaking out about the Black Lives Matter movement and the role he thinks the NFL should play in preventing violence against police and the Black community. In a new interview, the  Seattle Seahawks cornerback gets candid about his feelings on violence and race and reveals he finds it “difficult” to completely support BLM.

“It’s hard to formulate an opinion and generalize because they have several different messages,” he told The Undefeated. “Some of them are peaceful and understandable and some of them are very radical and hard to support. Any time you see people who are saying, ‘Black Lives Matter,’ and then saying it’s time to kill police, then it is difficult to stand behind that logic. They are generalizing police just like they are asking police not to generalize us. It is very hypocritical. So, in that respect, I find it difficult to fully support that movement.”

He mentioned race is “created” and said, “Everybody is a human being first and then the color of their skin wouldn’t matter if nobody told you it mattered.”

When it comes to the league’s involvement in addressing issues of racial violence – much like the NBA has done with Carmelo Anthony and the WNBA players’ protest – Sherman believes the NFL should be active in solving violence in America, but he doubts it will.

“It doesn’t affect them, and a lot of the owners haven’t come from a background where they would have to deal with these type of circumstances. So it’s just news to them. They are too far away,” he explained. “But as players, we are really close to it. A majority African-American league, with a lot of guys coming from impoverished environments, would really feel compelled to speak up.”

Should the NFL form a coalition, the Compton, California native has a simple method to end violence. It starts within the Black community, particularly targeting gangs.

“I think we target the inner city and the Black community and a lot of the places that have high gang violence and beg for them to stop the senseless violence within our own community,” he said. “Because once we stop that, once we unite as a people, once we come together and stop looking at each other as enemies, then we can move forward in a very powerful way. And combat issues in a different way than it has ever been done before. But until we do that, we are fighting on two fronts.”

The outspoken athlete also maintains “all lives matter,” referring to the first time he mentioned the phrase at a press conference last year.

“I think a person saying that we should celebrate our humanity and that all lives matter, if that turns off an advertiser or turns off a company, then more power to you,” he told the press in September.

“I stand by what I said that All Lives Matter and that we are human beings. And speaking to police, I want African-Americans and everybody else treated decently,” he told The Undefeated. “I want them treated like human beings. And I also want the police treated like human beings. I don’t want police officers just getting knocked off in the street who haven’t done anything wrong. Those are innocent lives.”

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