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22 Sep, 2016 13:18

NFL player makes powerful statement after latest police killings of black men

NFL player makes powerful statement after latest police killings of black men

American football star Richard Sherman is the latest professional athlete to speak out about the ongoing tensions between US police and the African American community.

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Sherman refused to answer NFL-related questions at a press conference on Wednesday ahead of his team’s clash with the 49ers.

Instead Sherman made a statement to the press on the alarming gun violence on America’s streets, citing his first-hand experience of work in local communities to outline the “unfortunate situation” in American society.

READ MORE:NFL player refuses to stand for US anthem as part of anti-racism protest

The Black Lives Matter movement began in the United States following the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the 2012 shooting murder of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.

The group campaigns against violence and racism against the African American community and has since been supported by a host of public figures.

San Francisco 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the American anthem recently, which inspired similar protests from other sportsmen and women.

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Sherman, 28, instead focused on gun violence on the nation’s streets, specifically the recent deaths of Keith Lamont Scott and Terence Crutcher, two black men who were fatally shot by police this week.

“I think the state of things in the world today is very interesting,” he said.

“I think you have players that are trying to take a stand and trying to be aware of social issue and try to make a stand an increase people’s awareness and put a spotlight on it and they’re being ignored.

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“Whether they’re taking a knee or whether they’re locking arms, they’re trying to bring people together and unite them for a cause.

“It’s an unfortunate place to be in. There’s not a lot you can tell a kid. There’s not a lot you can try to inspire ... a person when you say, ‘We need black fathers to be in the community to stay there for your kids,’ but they’re getting killed in the street for nothing, for putting their hands on their cars.

“And I think that’s the unfortunate part, that’s the unfortunate place that we’re living in. And something needs to be done. And so when a guy takes a knee, you can ignore it.

“You can say he’s not being patriotic, he’s not honoring the flag. I’m doing none of those things. I’m saying, straight up, this is wrong and we need to do something.”

After thanking and wishing the gathered press a blessed day, Sherman exited the stage. He later posted a defiant message to his 1.66 million followers on Twitter, underlining the need to “do something.”