RENTON Yet again, Richard Sherman was thoughtful. He was nuanced. He was contextual.
This time, he was discussing his opinion on Colin Kaepernick’s stance of not standing for the National Anthem prior to the latest San Francisco 49ers game -- and what Sherman feels is the message lost by the controversy of how the quarterback made his statement symbolically against our country’s flag.
“I thought that was interesting,” the three-time All-Pro cornerback and Stanford graduate from Compton, California, on the hard side of Los Angeles, said following Seahawks practice Monday.
Then he talked for 5 minutes on why he thought that.
“Obviously, what he meant to do, what he meant, it was in a good place. He wanted to make a stand,” Sherman said. “Obviously, any time you don’t stand during the National Anthem, you know, people are going to criticize. And that’s the unfortunate part of it.
“You can’t ever stand against the flag, and things like that. A lot of people have sacrificed and things like that for it. But, there is also a deeper meaning to what he did. He’s talking about the oppression of African-Americans in this country, and that has been going on for a long time. And I think a lot of the focus has shifted away from his message, and shifted for some people -- and rightfully so -- to him taking a stand against the nation, etcetera. But I think there is also things in this nation that people need to remember and need to take heed of and also acknowledge. This country is the same country that had ‘Whites’ and ‘Colored’ signs on the bathroom. We are still in that country. We are still in that nation. And that needs to be acknowledged and that needs to be changed; that mentality still exists. And that needs to change.
“There are people that still treat people of color with subjectivity; they still treat them a certain way. They categorize and they put them in a certain category. There are certain statistics that are put out there to make sure that police profile certain people in certain neighborhoods. And that needs to change. So there is so depth and there is some truth into what he was doing.
“I think he could have picked a better platform and a better way to do it. But, you know, every day they say athletes are so robotic and do everything by the book -- and then somebody takes a stand like that and he gets his head chopped off.”
Sherman also said, “You’ve got to honor your country. You have to believe in it.”
I asked Sherman, a team leader and leader in the NFL players’ union, if he’s known of any talk in the Seahawks’ locker room of not standing for the National Anthem before a game.
“I think some of the guys have talked about it,” Sherman said. “I haven’t particularly been in those discussions, but I’m sure some of them ... I sure if it’s going to happen -- we do a National Anthem every game, so we’ll see.”