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Richard Sherman: More athletes should address issues in society

RENTON, Wash. -- Before Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman answered questions about Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers on Wednesday afternoon, he had something he wanted to get off his chest.

An online blog post was recently incorrectly attributed to Sherman. Sherman wanted to clarify that he was not the author, but he also shared his thoughts on a variety of topics, including police behavior, violence in black communities and why more athletes should use their platforms to speak out.

"I think if we did have more guys that spoke up on those types of things, we'd be in a better place as a society and as a culture," Sherman said.

"Sometimes you have to do your best to use your platform in the best way possible, and it's not always advertising and marketing for these companies. It's sometimes standing for what you believe in and speaking for what you believe in. ... I've passed the point where alienation and dealing with controversy and dealing with opinions mattered because I believe in what I say. I'm not being vulgar, I'm not being disrespectful. I'm not saying anything that's, in my opinion, controversial. It's something that I believe in. I think a person saying that we should celebrate our humanity and that all lives matter, if that turns off an advertiser or turns off a company, then more power to you."

The blog post Sherman was referring to advocated violence against police. Sherman wanted to make clear that that's not a stance he supports in any way.

"I don't think it's any time to call for an all-out war against police or any race of people," he said. "I thought that was an ignorant statement. But as a black man, I do understand that black lives matter. I stand for that. I believe in that wholeheartedly, but I also think that there's a way to go about things, and there's a way to do things. I think the issue at hand needs to be addressed internally before we move on, because from personal experience, living in the hood, living in the inner city, you deal with things. You deal with people dying, dealt with a best friend getting killed. It was two 35-year-old black men. There wasn't no police officer involved, wasn't anybody else involved. And I didn't hear anybody shouting 'black lives matter' then.

"I think that's the point that we need to get to, is we need to deal with our own internal issues before we start moving forward and start attacking other people. We need to solidify ourselves as a people and deal with our issues because I think as long as we have black-on-black crime and one black man killing another, if black lives matter, then they should matter all the time. 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."

Speaking specifically about police, Sherman added: "There's a lot of dealings with police officers right now. I don't think all cops are bad. I think there's some great cops out there who do everything in their power to uphold the badge and uphold the honor and protect the people out in society. But there are bad cops, and I think that also needs to be addressed. I think the police officers we have right now, some of it is being brought to light because of video cameras, everybody has a cameraphone. But these are things a lot of us have dealt with our whole lives. And I think right now is a perfect time to deal with. The climate we're in, everybody's being more accepting, so I think the ignorance should stop. I think people should realize at the end of the day, we're all human beings. Before we're black, white, Asian, Polynesian, Latino, we're humans."