On Saturday night, prior to the Raiders preseason tilt against the Arizona Cardinals, Marshawn Lynch sat on the bench during the playing of the national anthem. Even though he suited up for the preseason matchup, he did not see any action on the field. Head coach Jack Del Rio said he wasn't aware that Lynch had planned to sit during the anthem and that the two of them discussed the incident after the game. However, it appears as though the veteran National Football League mind is now on board with whatever it is that his newest offensive weapon decides to do going forward. "He said, 'This is something I've done for 11 years". On a dark day in this country's history, when a white supremacist demonstration in Charlottesville turned deadly, the decision to not stand for the anthem is understandable, no matter what lens you view it through. It's not a form of anything other than me being myself.' I said, 'So you understand how I feel. "But I respect you as a man and you can do your thing".
The decision is identical to ex-San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick when he kneeled during the national anthem during the regular season a year ago to protest police brutality in the United States.
The star running back didn't play a single down on Saturday and the Raiders lost to the Cardinals 20-10, but Lynch easily generated the most attention to the exhibition game.
Photos show Lynch, who suited up but did not play, sitting on a cooler while holding a banana during the anthem.
"Well I mean with what's going on, I'd rather see him take a knee than stand up, put his hands up and get murdered", Lynch said.
As The Washington Post's Des Bieler wrote, many believe Kaepernick's protests are the reason the quarterback, who led the 49ers to Super Bowl XLVII in 2013, remains unsigned. He added that he hopes "people open up their eyes and see that there's really a big problem going on and something needs to be done for it to stop".