Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch sat during the national anthem Saturday evening prior to a National Football League pre-season game against the Arizona Cardinals.
— Mark J. Rebilas (@rebilasphoto) August 13, 2017
It is unclear if Lynch was protesting a particular cause, but head coach Jack Del Rio was quick to say that he was not.
“I talked to Marshawn, I wanted to make sure we’re on the same page,” Del Rio told reporters following the game. “He said this is something I’ve done for eleven years, it’s not a form of anything other than me being myself.”
“I said just so you understand how I feel, I very strongly believe in standing for the national anthem, but I’m gonna respect you as a man,” Del Rio said he told Lynch. “You do your thing, and we’ll do ours.”
Lynch, long known for giving the media the silent treatment, was nowhere near reporters following the game, which left Del Rio with no option but to address the issue.
“If Del Rio can get his linebackers to go at ball-carriers as aggressively as he tackled the Lynch story, maybe the Raiders defense won’t give up yards as easily as they did in the first half of a 20-10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals,” area sports reporter Jerry McDonald quipped.
Lynch, who rose to NFL stardom as a member of the Super Bowl winning Seattle Seahawks, initially retired after the 2015 season before applying for reinstatement.
The decision by Lynch to sit comes the same day that civil unrest rocked the city of Charlottesville, Va. Some also speculated that Lynch sat in order to take a stand with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Kaepernick remains unsigned following last year’s refusal to stand during the national anthem. While his on field performance is better than some current starters, numerous NFL teams may be steering clear of a man that is not only polarizing, but also a potential distraction in the locker room.
Lynch’s actions also comes as the Oakland Raiders prepare for a move to Las Vegas, Nev. The NFL approved the move earlier 2017, and the team plans to relocate in either 2019 or 2020.[contentcards url=”http://dailycaller.com/2017/08/13/marshawn-lynch-sits-during-national-anthem/” target=”_blank”]
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