An online user claiming to be Richard Sherman took a strong stance against a self-styled Black Lives Matter activist last week for using a picture of the Seattle Seahawks cornerback and teammate Marshawn Lynch. The image showed Sherman with his arm around Lynch an accompanying caption, “When we gon Kill These KKKrakas Bro.”
The picture elicited the following comment from a user with the handle RSherman25.
I did not believe this when I heard about it. I watched your videos. I started a life in the gehto [sic]. I banged like a fool till I woke up. I was not suppressed by any man or woman, white or black. I worked myself up from Compton High School to a scholarship at Standford University and I did it myself. I take pride in what I have accomplished both as a black man, and an athlete. I could have stayed in LA and banged and used drugs and thought that it was all the white mans fault [sic]. But that would be a lie. We are who we want to be, that is what is great about america [sic]. We are all born with the same chances in life..white or black…YOU choose to be a woman-abusing racist loudmouth. I would love to debate you on national tv [sic]. And if you condone senseless black shootings of whites and police officers, you better make that a debate on Springer, so I can bitchslap your ignorant ass! You are what is keeping and making the black race look bad. Wake up fool. Do not glorify this half a man, he has worked for nothing. He chose to keep himself where he is, not the white people. It is time to take responsibility for your own actions, and not act like a stinking fool. Kids and young black men and women look at this site, and believe that they are abused. That is a bold-faced lie. It is out of the mouths of cheap thugs like you that are hurting our young and taking away the chances they have to make themselves a productive part of society. Brothers and sisters: the only slavery in america now is the one you put yourself into Rise up like Doctor King as taught us, and be a real human being [sic]. We are all in this together white and black. Peace to all and I hope this stupid fake hate stops real soon. We are all brothers and sisters. Do not be fooled by the tyranny of evil men like this lift yourself up educate yourselves and work hard for a good life [sic]. No one owes you anything stand proud as a person of color , and do something meaningful with your life [sic]. I did and I am the best at what I do! Peace out, R Sherman.”
Sherman addressed the story at a press conference earlier today, confirming what should have been obvious: he was not the author of the post. He then spoke on the Black Lives Matter movement, saying:
“A lot of people had sent (the article) to me over the weekend, but I thought this would be the best place to address it. There were some points in that article, or in that post, that were relevant and I could agree with. But there were also some obviously ignorant points in there. I don’t think any time’s a time to call out for an all-out war against police or any race of people. I thought that was an ignorant statement. But as a black man, I do understand that black lives matter. You know, I stand for that, I believe in that wholeheartedly. “… I also think that there’s a way to go about things, and there’s a way to do things. And I think the issue at hand needs to be addressed internally, and before we move on, because from personal experience, you know, you are living in the hood, living in the inner city, you deal with things, you deal with people dying. Dealt with a best friend getting killed … it was two 35-year-old black men. Wasn’t no police officer involved, wasn’t anybody else involved, and I didn’t hear anybody shouting ‘black lives matter’ then. And I think that’s the point we need to get to is that we need to deal with our own internal issues before we move forward and start pointing fingers and start attacking other people. We need to solidify ourselves as people and deal with our issues, because 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. … there’s a lot of dealings with police officers right now. I don’t think all cops are bad. You know, I think there’s some great cops out there, who do everything in their power to uphold the badge and uphold the honor and protect the people in society. But there are bad cops, and I think that also needs to be addressed. I think the police officers we have right now —you know, some of it is being brought to light, because of video cameras, everybody has a camera phone. But these are things a lot of us have dealt with our whole lives. And I think right now is a perfect time to deal with it. The climate we’re in … everybody’s being more accepting, you know, so I think the ignorance should stop. I think people realize that, at the end of the day, we’re all human beings. So, you know, before we’re black, white, Asian, Polynesian, Latino — we’re humans. So, it’s up to us to stop it.”
Sherman’s words are far more eloquent than the ones that sparked this sequence. I find it interesting that a phony behind a keyboard could be the catalyst for such a chain of events. This issue will undoubtedly continue to be divisive. But perhaps there’s a victory for rational discussion on the topic here.