Richard Sherman applauds Colin Kaepernick’s message.
But the Seahawks’ star doesn’t stand for sitting during our National Anthem.
On Monday, Sherman was thoughtful and contextual while offering his opinion on Colin Kaepernick’s stance of not standing for the anthem prior to the latest San Francisco 49ers preseason game — and what Sherman feels is Kaepernick’s message lost by the controversy of how the quarterback made his statement symbolically against the U.S. and its flag.
The three-time All-Pro cornerback and Stanford graduate from Compton, California, on the hard side of Los Angeles, also talked following Seattle’s latest practice about Kaepernick’s comments to NFL Media after Friday’s San Francisco-Green Bay exhibition.
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“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Media last weekend. “To me, this is bigger than football, and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
Sherman talked for five minutes Monday about Kaepernick’s action and words.
“Obviously, what he meant to do, what he meant, it was in a good place. He wanted to make a stand,” Sherman said. “Obviously, any time you don’t stand during the National Anthem, you know, people are going to criticize you. And that’s the unfortunate part of it.
“You can’t ever stand against the flag and things like that. A lot of people have 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. And I think a lot of the focus has shifted away from his message, and shifted for some people — and rightfully so — to him taking a stand against the nation, etcetera.”
Sherman’s longer point was that social issues in America have a long history of inequality and injustice.
“I think there is also things in this nation that people need to remember and need to take heed of and also acknowledge,” he said. “This country is the same country that had ‘Whites’ and ‘Colored’ signs on the bathroom. We are still in that country. We are still in that nation. And that needs to be acknowledged and that needs to be changed; that mentality still exists. And that needs to change.
“There are people that still treat people of color with subjectivity; they still treat them a certain way. They categorize and they put them in a certain category. There are 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 so depth and there is some truth into what he was doing.
“I think he could have picked a better platform and a better way to do it.
“But, you know, every day they say athletes are so robotic and do everything by the book — and then somebody takes a stand like that and he gets his head chopped off,” Sherman said.
Kaepernick is in an uphill battle to remain San Francisco’s starting quarterback. But the former top-of-the-league runner and passer that led the 49ers to the Super Bowl in the 2012 season has gotten $61 million guaranteed from his team.
“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,” Sherman said. “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 and 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 sicked on them for standing for what they believe in and that’s unfortunate.
“And at the same time you have to honor your country. You have to believe.”
Sherman, a team leader and leader in the NFL players’ union, was asked if he’s known of any talk in the Seahawks’ locker room of not standing for the National Anthem before a game.
“I think 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.”
BROWNER CUT, SILIGA to IR among MOVES
Brandon Browner’s Seahawks experiment with a specific role — and his “Legion of Boom” reunion in the secondary — are over before they really began.
Seattle cut its secondary’s original “Legion of Boom” member on Monday. The 32-year-old was the third-string safety in last week’s preseason game against Dallas.
Browner’s release became apparent Sunday and Monday when he was nowhere to be seen at team headquarters during practices.
Browner, who won a Super Bowl with the Seahawks in 2013, signed in March what for Seattle was a no-risk, veteran-minimum contract with no guaranteed money. That alone signaled he was on tenuous footing to make this team in his second go-round.
Then Tyvis Powell happened. The undrafted rookie from Ohio State has been something of a revelation as a safety, a cornerback and a hustling special-teams player. He is younger, cheaper and more versatile than Browner.
Last season, Browner’s only one with New Orleans, he was the NFL’s most penalized player.
The Seahawks also put defensive tackle Sealver Siliga on injured reserve.
Siliga began training camp on the non-football-injury list. Coach Pete Carroll said the veteran defensive tackle Seattle signed this spring as a free agent from New England arrived for camp with a calf injury. Siliga got back to practice one day, then hurt his calf again. He has been sidelined since.
The fact he’s on injured reserve shows the Seahawks are intrigued by the 26-year old, who is 6 foot 2 and 345 pounds.
The Seahawks also waived linebacker Kyle Coleman, wide receiver Montario Hunter and defensive end DeAngelo Tyson. Wide receiver Deshon Foxx was waived-injured.
The Seahawks must make nine more roster moves before Tuesday’s 1 p.m. deadline to get its roster to 75 players. The final preseason game is Thursday at Oakland, and the roster cut-down day to the regular-season limit of 53 players is Saturday.