Seattle Seahawks star cornerback Richard Sherman shared his views yesterday afternoon with the media about the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as the epidemic of violent crime in America’s urban centers.
The Sherman commentary won applause from Stephen A. Smith on ESPN First Take this morning.
The often flamboyant Smith — who increasingly delves into politics — is perhaps best known for his intense and some would say obnoxious back-and-forth with the equally outspoken Skip Bayless (best known perhaps for his man-crush on quarterback Tim Tebow) on the high-rated show which airs five mornings a week on the sports network.
First Take on ESPN is now moderated by Molly Qerim, who took over when Cari Champion moved to SportsCenter, and as such, has inherited the challenging task of navigating between the two over-the-top talkers.
Prompting the press availability at the Seahawks training facility was a blog post that was falsely posted in Richard Sherman’s name and that apparently contained anti-police content.
Sherman stressed that he understands and wholeheartedly believes in the Black Lives Matter movement and noted that police misconduct must be dealt with. He then moved on to the issue of black-on-black crime.
“…I think the issue at hand needs to be addressed internally before we move on, because from personal experience, 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. There wasn’t no police officer involved, wasn’t anybody else involved. And I didn’t hear anybody shouting ‘black lives matter’ then…as long as we have black-on-black crime and one black man killing another, if black lives matter, then they should matter all the time…I think people should realize at the end of the day, we’re all human beings. Before we’re black, white, Asian, Polynesian, Latino, we’re humans.”
Richard Sherman scored points with Stephen A. Smith (see clip embedded below) who seems to be on the same page with the NFL star as far as Black Lives Matter is concerned. He encouraged athletes to come forward to speak about political and social matters, provided, according to Smith, if they are sufficiently informed — like Sherman — on the issues.
The ESPN analyst and SiriusXM talk host also expressed appreciation for Sherman’s views on the crime rate in the black community. Smith prefaced his discourse by noting that the perception that he is against the Black Lives Matter movement is incorrect, although he has been publicly critical of some aspects of the protests. He acknowledged that racism still fundamentally exists in America, but also chided Barack Obama, whom he “loves dearly” for failing to speak out about the ongoing crime wave in the president’s political hometown of Chicago.
“I didn’t hear Black Lives Matter when black folks were getting murdered in the streets of Chicago by black folks. I didn’t hear that when black folks [were] losing lives by the hands of other black folks in Baltimore…As a black man, it is disgusting and disgraceful to see the lives of black people that are lost at the hands of other black folks…but all I’m saying from a general perspective is this: No matter what problems exist in the United States of America, when it comes to black people — and that includes racism which has not gone away — in my opinion, it is nothing compared to black folks out here getting killed by black folks. It has to stop; there needs to be attention drawn to that. Richard Sherman, bringing that up, to me was incredibly powerful, conscientious, thoughtful, and more importantly than anything else, absolutely positively true. I applaud that brother for saying what he has to say…”
In March, Stephen A. Smith, a self-proclaimed independent voter, reaffirmed his recommendation that African-Americans should stop monolithically supporting Democrats in every election and instead make both major parties compete for their vote.
You may also remember that ESPN suspended him last year for controversial comments about domestic violence. A few months ago, he found himself engulfed in another controversy, this time over comments made about the NFL Philadelphia Eagles. Stephen A. subsequently rejected any racial basis for his criticism of head coach Chip Kelly’s personnel decisions.
In the exchange this morning, Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless also touched on New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s apparent support for Donald Trump for President.
What do you think about what Richard Sherman and Stephen A. Smith had to say about Black Lives Matter, as well as violent crime in America’s cities?
[Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images Sport]