SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Pro-athletes continue to lend their voices to the conversation on racism in America.
On Wednesday, 49ers star Richard Sherman spoke to the media.
Sherman has never been shy about voicing his opinion about his sport, or about related off-the-field issues.
The 49ers cornerback has been active in the conversation about racism as protests have swept the nation, whether disagreeing with Drew Brees’ widely criticized statements about the American flag, or applauding his head coach Kyle Shanahan’s stance.
“In a time since I’ve been around and I’ve been alive, I don’t remember it being this strong of an impact, and reaching this many people, and this many people being upset and emotional about it,” Sherman said.
Last week, even the NFL declared its support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Now, Sherman hopes the league is prepared to back that up with action long term.
“I think having some people of color represented in the general manager space, the front office space, obviously head coaches, that would go a long way. They’ve tried their best to throw money behind it for a long time, and it takes more than that. It takes you literally calling out bigotry, not just letting it be a fad and fleeting,” Sherman said.
Sherman says a big part of that will be keeping momentum on the message going, even once football returns.
“This is a problem that needs to change, not just this year, not just 2016, not just 2017, but black lives matter, they have to matter forever, they have to matter every year. So many people are saying they’re so tired of politics in sports, so tired of dealing with these race issues. How do you think black people feel? We deal with this forever, from the day we’re born to the day we’re put in the ground. And so it’s up to everybody to kind of end this,” Sherman said.
As for what it will take to end it, Sherman believes it’s a combination of policy change, and regular people doing the work at home to make those with racist views feel uncomfortable.