Richard Sherman praises white QBs speaking up on George Floyd: 'Voices carry different weight'

Yahoo Sports

Richard Sherman is one of the NFL’s leading voices, regularly speaking his mind on issues of race and social justice.

On Monday, he praised the white quarterbacks who have joined the conversation in speaking up in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death.

Floyd’s death while in custody of Minneapolis police last week has gripped the nation and prompted an outpouring of commentary from athletes acknowledging the ongoing problem of police violence toward black Americans, with several white NFL quarterbacks among them.

“I’m impressed with the white QBs speaking up because those are voices that carry different weight than the black voices for some people,” Sherman told MMQB’s Albert Breer on Monday. “Which means the people who refuse to listen to a black athlete’s perspective will hear the same thing said from a white athlete, but receive the message much differently.

“So it’s awesome that more people are speaking out, because in sports, you really have a love and appreciation for your fellow man, regardless of race.”

New light on Colin Kaepernick’s message

The topic of police brutality is not a new conversation in NFL circles. In fact, it’s one that’s engulfed the league since Colin Kaepernick first staged protests against brutality and social injustice.

But Kaepernick’s message fell on deaf ears in circles that shifted the subject of his protests to focus on the national anthem while creating false narratives about patriotism.

Richard Sherman talked about why it's important for white voices to speak out against racial injustice. (Russell Lansford/Getty Images)
Richard Sherman talked about why it's important for white voices to speak out against racial injustice. (Russell Lansford/Getty Images)

The video showing white ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneel on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes in the moments before Floyd’s death made the topic unavoidable. Now, it’s not just an issue in the NFL for Kaepernick and his allies.

White QBs who have spoken out

Joe Burrow, the 23-year-old rookie quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals, didn’t hesitate to lend his voice.

“The black community needs our help,” Burrow said last week. “They have been unheard for far too long. Open your ears, listen, and speak. This isn’t politics. This is human rights.”

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz wrote his thoughts last week on Twitter.

“I don’t understand the society we live in that doesn’t value all human life,” Wentz wrote. “It’s heartbreaking and disturbing.”

Dallas Cowboys backup Andy Dalton wrote that “these racist acts are inexcusable and horrific” in a Twitter post.

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who projects as an elite NFL prospect, called for a change in the way people think.

Sherman, meanwhile, pointed to the quarterbacks speaking up as an example of how sports transcend the field of play and why not sticking to sports matters.

“I think that’s what makes sports and teams so special, because a lot of the stereotypes are torn down,” Sherman said. “You really get to know one another, not judge based off nonsense.”

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