Typically, the press conferences that NFL players take part in during the week in the days leading up to games aren't all that exciting. Players aren't willing to show their hands much with regards to their team's game plans—and reporters don't have all that much to ask guys. So midweek press conferences don't usually result in headlines.
The Seahawks have changed that this week, though, thanks to the open and honest discussions that a couple of their players have had about the Black Lives Matter movement. On Wednesday afternoon, Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman came out and shared his thoughts on Black Lives Matter with the media. Some of those thoughts didn't go over real well with people once they got out, but it was interesting to see Sherman talk about something other than just this week's game preparations during his press conference.
Late yesterday, Sherman's teammate Michael Bennett spoke with reporters, and he revealed that he respectfully disagrees with what Sherman thinks about Black Lives Matter. He wasn't actually asked about Sherman or Black Lives Matter, but he had some things on his mind and decided that he wanted to speak about them with reporters. You can watch him do it here:
Deadspin transcribed everything Bennett said, and you can check it out below:
I was reading Richard Sherman’s quotes yesterday. I would like to say I disagree with some of the things that he said yesterday. I think when people talk about the Black Lives Matter thing, I think he’s misinterpreting it, that black people kill black people, white people kill white people. People kill people every day.
I think the black lives thing is more about the social injustice, not so much the injustice of people killing within the community, it’s about the social injustice of the people that is supposed to protect them and building the community through the black community. Not just black people, too, because you see a lot of people within the Black Lives Matters organization that are white, Spanish, they are all dealing with the same type of hardships that are going on around the world.
I think sometimes people don’t take the time to look into what things really believe or what’s really going on in the world, and I think when you say something and are in the position he is in, I think sometimes people take it and run with it. I think there are a lot of murders in a lot of communities, but a lot of time it deals with the segregation within the communities around the world. You look around, there is a white neighborhood, a black neighborhood, a Spanish neighborhood, instead of just calling them all American neighborhoods or American communities. I think a lot of times people just get intertwined with different people and they don’t understand about what is going on in the world.
I think black lives matter a lot, and I agree with the Black Lives Matter movement. And I think a lot of times, people just don’t understand the movement or things that are going on, and it’s all about education and things like that, too.
Reporter: Did you guys have a conversation about it?
Well, we had a conversation about it. His opinion is different from mine. My opinion is, I believe in the things that people are trying to do. These things go all the way back to 1955, to Emmett Till. You gotta think about it, the last hanging in America was in the '60s. There’s a lot of social injustice that’s been going on for awhile.
One of my favorite people that I read about all the time is Dick Gregory. I go back checking out his books, and you see what’s going on within the community and the world. Now people are starting to see people for who they are, and not just their color. There is still a small amount of people that want people to see people for their color and not their characters that they have or the person that they come with or the person who they are or how they were raised. People are too worried about if he’s Spanish or if he’s black or if he’s Chinese, and not just talking to them and saying we’re all just people at the end of the day.
Whether you agree or disagree with what Sherman and Bennett had to say this week, it's been interesting to see them speak about large social issues in the days leading up to their big game against the Packers on Sunday night. The Seahawks suffered a pretty devastating loss to the Rams on Sunday, so we wouldn't blame either of them for not wanting to speak about, well, anything. But the players both used their platforms to push an important conversation forward—and did so voluntarily. We can only hope that other NFL players and athletes as a whole will follow in their footsteps in the near future.
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