San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman said he was "impressed" by white quarterbacks who have used their platforms to speak up in opposition to police violence and discrimination against black people after the death of George Floyd.
“I’m impressed with the white QBs speaking up because those are voices that carry different weight than the black voices for some people,” Sherman told Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated. “Which means the people who refuse to listen to a black athlete’s perspective will hear the same thing said from a white athlete, but receive the message much differently. So it’s awesome that more people are speaking out, because in sports, you really have a love and appreciation for your fellow man, regardless of race.
“And I think that’s what makes sports and teams so special, because a lot of the stereotypes are torn down. You really get to know one another, not judge based off nonsense.”
Tom Brady, Carson Wentz, Joe Burrow, Ryan Tannehill and Derek Carr are among the active NFL white quarterbacks who have spoken out in favor of justice for Floyd. Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the presumed No. 1 pick in next year's draft, also released a statement on Twitter calling for change.
"The black community needs our help. They have been unheard for far too long. Open your ears, listen, and speak. This isn’t politics. This is human rights," Burrow's tweet read.
Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin was arrested Friday and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter after video of him kneeling on Floyd's neck circulated. The incident was the latest in a recent series of acts of violence against black Americans, such as the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor.
Protests, many of which have become violent, took place across the United States over the weekend.
Sherman said athletes using their public platforms should depend on the individual.
“Not everyone has something to say and not everyone who’s an athlete should be forced to," Sherman said. "There are many successful people in this world with platforms, but not everyone should speak.”