Anthony Sherman thought he was making a serious point blasting the National Football League, but he missed the mark badly.
The retired fullback took to Twitter on Saturday and compared the use of differently colored wristbands during NFL training camps to denote COVID-19 vaccination status to racial segregation.
“The @NFL is making players wear colored wrist bands now based on vaccination status,” Sherman tweeted Saturday. “Funny, I thought we all agreed on the evils of segregation back in the 60s. Here we are again- only this time it’s based on personal health choices instead of skin color.”
Sherman is speaking about the decision multiple teams have made about having their vaccinated players wear a wristband of one color, with unvaccinated players wearing a wristband of a different color.
Cleveland Browns center JC Tretter, the president of the NFL Players Association criticized the NFL on Thursday over the issue of the differently colored wristbands, calling it “kind of a nonsensical idea.”
The reactions to Sherman’s tweet have largely been negative, with many pointing out how skin color and ethnicity is not a choice while deciding whether to get a vaccine is.
After heavy backlash, he tried to clear up what he was trying to say:
“It is clear my words have been twisted and spun to mean something I did not say nor intend.
I NEVER said that segregating players based on vaccination status was AS BAD as racism and the segregation of the 60s. What I was drawing out was a principled point that segregation based their team forfeits the game and all game checks associated with that game.”
(Which now that it’s been made clear that vaccinated people are just as likely – and in some cases MORE LIKELY – to spread the virus IS ASININE.)
Effectively, unvaccinated NFL players are made second-class citizens within the league.
Recalling the DEFINITION of segregation: the separation or isolation of a race, CLASS, or ethnic group by enforced or voluntary residence in a restricted area, by barriers to social intercourse, by separate educational facilities, or by other discriminatory means.
THIS is the point I was making in my previous tweet. Segregating the unvaccinated from the vaccinated is discrimination based on personal medical choice. It is not only wrong, it is unAmerican.”
The 32-year-old Sherman played 10 years in the NFL from 2011-20. All but two of those seasons were with the Kansas City Chiefs, with his first two being with the Arizona Cardinals.
In his career, Sherman caught 66 passes for 552 yards with four touchdowns and added 28 carries for 73 yards and one rushing touchdown.