Here's Where Richard Sherman's Black Lives Matter Critique Went Wrong

NFL football star, Richard Sherman, used Black-on-Black crime to criticize the efforts of the Black Lives Matter movement, but his logic was a bit misguided.

Seattle Seahawks cornerback, Richard Sherman, is no stranger to controversy or speaking his mind publicly even if his opinions result in backlash.

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Staying true to his nature, during a press conference this week he made a bold statement about his thoughts on the Black Lives Matter movement.  

"If Black lives matter, they should matter all the time," he proclaimed. 

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman

Sherman's comments referred to crimes within the Black community committed by Black people, or "black-on-black crime" which he argues doesn't get as much attention as acts of violence involving multiple races or law enforcement. 

"As a Black man, I do understand that Black lives matter, I stand for that and I believe in that wholeheartedly," Sherman said. "But I also think that there's a way to go about things and there's a way to do things and I think the issue at hand needs to be addressed internally and before we move on." 

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He recalled an incident from his past when one of his best friends was killed by two adult Black males. 

"Wasn't no police officer involved, wasn't anybody else involved — and I didn't hear anybody shouting 'black lives matter' then," he said as he recounted the experience. 

"You should never let somebody get killed — that’s somebody’s son, that’s somebody’s brother, that’s somebody’s friend. So you should always keep that in mind.”

These statements follow an incident earlier this week when Sherman passionately responded to a self-proclaimed Black Lives Matter activist who used a photo of Sherman and Marshawn Lynch to promote a racist message. 

But, the acts of one extreme supporter do not reflect those of the entire movement. 

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Sherman received an outpouring of support on social media for his words during the press conference.

Others critiqued Sherman's logic about "black-on-black" crime because statistics have shown that most crimes, in general, occur among victims and offenders that share the same racial identity.

Numbers indicate that there is no significant phenomena of Black people committing crimes against each other in comparison to other races. 

Black people are, however, being disproportionately killed by the hands of law enforcement at an alarming rate. 

Despite that particular point, Sherman's perspective is not totally invalid.

As a San Francisco 49er fan and the Seahawks being our arch nemesis, I would usually never defend Sherman...but in this case he brings up a decent point. 

There is, indeed, systemic division within the Black community stemming from historically being pegged against each other to discourage unity.

Black people haven't fully overcome that division which results in a lot of competition, colorism, self-hate and other issues that lead to Blacks committing crimes against each other. 

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Black Lives Matter, however, focuses a lot of its efforts on bringing communities together, eradicating division within the race and joining forces nationwide to combat the overarching, deeper rooted problems including racism and marginalization. 

So, while Sherman may have a point about the need for internal healing, he should have put that ivy-league Stanford education to use to come up with a better argument to criticize a movement that strives to do the very thing he's requesting.

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