RENTON, Wash. -- Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman said Monday that Colin Kaepernick's message has validity, but he doesn't necessarily agree with the way Kaepernick tried to get his point across.
"Obviously, what he meant to do, it was in a good place," Sherman said. "He wanted to take a stand, and obviously any time you don’t stand during the national anthem, people are going to criticize it. And that’s the unfortunate part of it. You can’t ever stand against the flag and things like that. A lot of people 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. I think a lot of the focus has shifted away from his message and shifted to some people, rightfully so, to taking a stand against the nation.
"But I think there’s also things in this nation that people need to remember and take heed of and also acknowledge. This country is the same country that had whites and colored signs on the bathroom. We’re still in that country. We’re still in that nation. And that needs to be acknowledged. That needs to be changed. There are people with that mentality that still exist, and that needs to change. There are people that still treat people of color with subjectivity. They treat them a certain way. They categorize and they put them in a certain category. There’s 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 some depth and some truth into what he was doing. I think he could have picked a better platform and a better way to do it, but every day they say athletes are so robotic and do everything by the book. And then when somebody takes a stand like that, he gets his head chopped off."
Sherman was asked if any of his teammates have considered sitting during the national anthem.
"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’m sure if it’s going to happen, we do a national anthem every game, so we’ll see."
Asked what he would say to a teammate who was considering following Kaepernick's lead, Sherman added, "Just tell him to think about the pros and the cons. Every action has an equal or greater reaction. And there’s going to be criticism. There’s going to be backlash. There’s going to be people behind screens that will judge you, that will criticize you, that will say whatever they want about you, and you’ve got to be willing to deal with that."
Sherman agreed with the theory that sometimes a controversial gesture can generate the most attention.
"Obviously, [Kaepernick] is an American, and he thinks America is as great a nation as anybody else, or else he wouldn’t be living here, I’m guessing," Sherman said. "But he also understands the trials and tribulations that he goes through as an African-American male in this country. People say, ‘He has all this money so he doesn’t deal with those problems.’ Well all the money in the world can’t buy you freedom, can’t change your skin color, can’t get your family out of that. And not only do you have to deal with it, but your family has to deal with it. Your kids have to deal with it. And it’s unfortunate. I think people need to take a step back and acknowledge that, acknowledge that there were wrongs in this country. There were people getting hosed down in the street and dogs stuck on ‘em for standing for what they believed in. And that’s unfortunate. At the same time, you’ve got to honor your country."