Sportress of Blogitude

Richard Sherman objects to notion ‘millionaire athletes’ should ‘stick to sports’

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman not surprisingly disagrees with the notion that NFL players should “stick to sports” because being “millionaire athletes” entitles them to a “privileged” place in society.

Sherman specifically mentioned how Seahawks teammate Doug Baldwin joined NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to write a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee requesting criminal justice reform.

“I think what he’s doing with Goodell and that is fantastic,” Sherman said of Baldwin, via ESPN. “He’s been doing that work for years now, meeting with police and trying to work to change, and I think that’s what gets missed sometimes with players, because they’re like, ‘Oh, stick to sports, stick to this.’ And a lot of people have used the phrase like ‘privileged athletes.’ ‘Oh, these privileged athletes, you guys are rich millionaires.’

“And it’s like, well, seven years ago I had negative $45 in my account. What was I then? You know what I mean? I was still a black guy, I was still a kid from the hood, and we will never forget those moments.”

Sherman went on to point out how success doesn’t change what players have experienced in their lives.

“What privilege do we have?” Sherman continued. “The privilege to be blessed that our hard work and dedication paid off, and we were able to change our families’ lives, to change our lives, and to live better. But that doesn’t change our memories or what we remember happening in our childhood. I think that’s something that sticks true to him [Baldwin] as well, and sticks true to a lot of players.”

Sherman without question is among the most thoughtful and outspoken players in the NFL, and he no doubt feels an obligation to speak out on such important matters.

Social activism by players — highlighted of course by the national anthem protest movement, but other developments such as Baldwin’s partnership with Goodell as well — has been as prominent a story line this season as the actual play on the field. And there’s no reason to believe the dialogue — much less the controversy surrounding these issues — will quiet down anytime soon.