I love when athletes speak their minds, I really do. Most of them are heroes to many of us in society, and when they take a social stance on issues of the day people usually listen. I think that we should encourage athletes to speak their minds on social issues and not be like that fraud, Michael Jordan, who only cared about his bottom line and his phony brand.
Anyway, I said all that because I want to write a little bit about Richard Sherman and his comments about the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.
In case you have been living under a rock, here is some of what Mr. Sherman had to say:
"I think as long as we have black-on-black crime and, you know, one black man killing another … if black lives matter, then it should matter all the time. You should never let somebody get killed — that’s somebody’s son, that’s somebody’s brother, that’s somebody’s friend. So you should always keep that in mind.”
Poor Richard just doesn't get it. Of course we have pathologies in our community, as well as people who are all too willing to take the life of another person of color for whatever reason. But that doesn't excuse those who are sworn to uphold the law behaving like (and worse in some cases) the criminals they swore to protect us from. It doesn't excuse treating all young men of color like criminals and acting accordingly towards them.
What makes Richard Sherman (and others like him, who use this specious and flawed argument time and time again) believe that if we act better ourselves and become "perfect" citizens things will get better for us in the long run?
It's easy to give in to the urge to pander to the majority population because he knows that while he plays football --and even after--- life will be so much easier for him. All he has to do is say something stupid under the guise of giving us straight talk and America will love him for it. Charles Barkley could write a book about how to be that Negro. He has gotten very rich doing it. He is probably the most inarticulate broadcaster in the history of broadcasting, but he will always have a job because he is that Negro who tells black folks things that white folks wish they could say. (Publicly.)
But I digress.
Richard Sherman must have forgotten that it was these same BLM folks defending him when America called him out for being a loud mouth thug for simply letting out his emotions in the heat of competition. America thought that he was a just street thug and not a thoughtful Stanford educated graduate. It took a lot of those same BLM folks jumping on social media to remind America of that fact.
This is where I have to give credit to ESPN host, Michael Smith, for checking Richard Sherman and giving him an education about the society in which he lives.
"This is so counter-productive because it undermines the message and the movement that is Black Lives Matter,” Smith said. He continued to refute Sherman by saying that Black people already care about crimes within their community, but that there was a difference between that and the accusations of racial profiling and unfair treatment from officials the movement tries to address.
“Black-on-black crime has nothing to do with crimes against black people by the state,” Smith went on. “I’m just a little disappointed to hear Richard Sherman speak on that and validate the people who think that. We hear that enough every day.”' [Source]
Go ahead and spike the ball Mr. Smith, that was a touchdown.
*Pic from Wikipedia.