Marshawn Lynch Sits During National Anthem at Raiders' Preseason Game


U.S National Football League star Marshawn Lynch, also known for not conforming to the typical interview model sports broadcasters expect of professional athletes and his activism in favor of "Africans" in the diaspora, remained seated while the national anthem was played during a pre-season game.

The ex-Seattle running back, who came out of retirement to sign with his hometown Raiders, sat on an orange cooler with his arms resting on his knees, while others around him stood.

After Saturday's game, Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio told reporters that he didn't think Lynch's sitting would be a distraction, according to the Arizona Republic, and said the gesture was "a non-issue for me". "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, "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".

"It's possible that Lynch has skipped the anthem in some settings, but Del Rio's statement made it sound like Lynch has consistently sat out the anthem throughout his career".

Kaepernick began the protests in the pre-season previous year, when he was a member of the San Francisco 49ers.

Lynch was not among the players who kneeled during Kaepernick's protest last season, though he did praise the controversial quarterback for taking action during an appearance on "Conan" in September.

Without hearing from Lynch, it's impossible to say for sure what he intended to say by sitting out the anthem, or what he meant when he explained himself to his coach afterward.

Lynch left by the venue by the time reporters were allowed into the visiting locker room, obviously not focused on Arizona's 20-10 win over the Raiders.

"I thought I was going to get the first quarter", Palmer said. "It's a non-issue for me".

Kaepernick remains an unsigned free agent.