Marshawn Lynch chose not to stand for the national anthem in Arizona.
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Marshawn Lynch chose not to stand during the playing of the national anthem before Saturday’s preseason game between the Oakland Raiders and Arizona Cardinals, and his coach had no problem with that.
Lynch, who sat on a cooler while the “Star-Spangled Banner” was being played, apparently told Del Rio that he is not trying to start a movement like the one Colin Kaepernick started last year and has instead been choosing not to stand for the national anthem for years. Del Rio disagrees with the running back’s decision, but he respects it and does not consider it a distraction.
In an appearance on Conan O’Brien’s show last year, Lynch was asked for his thoughts on Kaepernick’s national anthem protest. He offered some strong words of support for the then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback.
“I’d rather see him take a knee than stand up, put his hands up and get murdered,” Lynch said. “I just hope people open up their eyes to see that there’s really a problem going on and something needs to be done for it to stop. If you’re really not racist, then you won’t see what he’s doing as a threat to America, but just addressing a problem that we have.”
We saw one player who followed in Kaepernick’s footsteps last year end up issuing an apology, and you can guarantee Lynch won’t be doing that. The way Del Rio got out in front of the questions about Lynch was smart. Two adults can disagree about something without one of them being wrong, and that’s obviously how the Raiders coach feels about national anthem protests.