Richard Sherman: This time 'nobody can turn their eyes away'

As San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman spoke to the media on Wednesday afternoon, protests were still carrying on throughout the country.

In the aftermath of George Floyd's horrific death at the knee of a Minneapolis police officer on May 25, protests and a call for change on the front of police brutality and social justice have overtaken the nation -- with the NFL world included.

With the sustained sentiment and demonstrations seemingly unprecedented in numbers and longevity, Sherman believes change may well be on the horizon.

"In the time since I've been around and I've been alive, I don't remember it being this strong of an impact and it reaching this many people and this many people being upset and emotional about it," Sherman said Wednesday, via ESPN's Nick Wagoner. "The way the world has been, even in 2016 and 2017, when those guys were making it about police brutality and just changing the inequities that we live in as African Americans, they found a way to dull down that message and to divert it and make it about something else in a way to avoid the conversation. And I think this time, it's too full-fledged and most people are actually getting the messaging and seeing it firsthand."

Since Floyd's death, the call for change and social justice has carried on and maintained.

With the protests, conversations and outcry has come a more united message seeking reform, accompanied by a greater sense of empathy.

As the nation's focus has yet to wane, Sherman's hope for real change has grown and he let that be known on Wednesday.

"Nobody can turn their eyes away," he said. "Nobody can turn away from what they're seeing. Any human with any true empathy in them for their fellow human being would feel that strong. That's why sometimes you sit there and to make the point to people who don't get it, you have to try to take yourself out of seeing that as a random stranger and see that as one of your own. See that as one of your brothers, your sisters, your cousins, your mom, your dad. And then the feeling that evokes should energize you to add yourself to the fight. I think that's why this will last a lot longer and the impact will be greater."

It was in 2016 in which Colin Kaepernick, then a 49ers quarterback, protested social injustice and police brutality by taking a knee during the playing of national anthem. Kaepernick has not played in the NFL since that season.

Sherman told reporters Kaepernick deserves to have a job in the NFL.

"I can want him to have a job and I can think he deserves a job as much as anybody and everybody has said it who has said anything," Sherman said. "Because he was a good player. He showed he could play in this league. He could play at the highest level, so he deserves a job but in order to answer those questions, I would have to be one of the decision-makers who didn't give him a job and I'm not that person. I think that until those people are asked those difficult questions, we'll never get the answers."

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