(FreshAsFrankie) Several members of the Seattle Seahawks spoke on the brutal August arrest of teammate Michael Bennett, after he addressed the matter himself, during the team’s post-practice press conference on Wednesday, September 7.
Head coach Pete Carroll touched on how common such social issues as police brutality are discussed in the Seahawks locker room, and defensive end Cliff Avril spared a few words that backed his teammate, but it was the famously vocal Richard Sherman who went in depth about the all-around social implications of the incident.
“I’ve been hemmed up, countless times when I was younger. You live in the inner city, that’s just how it goes. Police are trying to patrol the city, keep the city safe. So, you know … A black between the sizes of 6-4 and 5-3, you know? And they are going to get you,” the 29-year-old Compton native said while posing that he, like many around the league, can personally identify with what happened to Bennett.
While Sherman and Bennett have on occasion differed on their positions as they concern politics, they are known to be two of the more socially conscious athletes in the sport and have both been open about their dissent in the past. Bennett for example, is an active proponent of Black Lives Matter, while Sherman has gone on record to say that he won’t pledge his unequivocal support for the group’s actions because he hasn’t gotten a good sense of what their end goal is. But both men were very supportive of Colin Kaepernick’s protest and have played pivotal roles in converting the Seattle locker room into the most woke in the league.
Last year the Seattle Seahawks decided they’d demonstrate in solidarity with Kaepernick, but that they’d do it as a team, and would compromise by standing, but linking arms during the playing of the National Anthem. This year, they’ve observed as Bennett has taken his own protest to a next phase, by sitting out the ceremony altogether. While Sherman can see such a move causing a stir among Seahawks fans, he spoke of that being more so an issue concerning society and how it approaches life and death issues concerning the Black community, then it is a matter that any one player bears the onus of confronting.
“Mike is sitting, protesting and doing everything he can to combat the exact thing that he experienced,” Sherman said. “People are so worried about him sitting down during the national anthem that they completely miss that message at times. They want to be more angry at the action than the message. That’s an unfortunate part of the world that we live in.”