Marshawn Lynch Sat, Wore a Hat for National Anthem

Ross Houston
August 14, 2017

Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch was spotted by an Associated Press photographer sitting atop an orange cooler before the start of the preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals. He's among the most dominant running backs of the past decade, a Super Bowl victor, and returned from retirement this year to play for his hometown Raiders.

"On Marshawn, talked to Marshawn trying to make sure we're on the same page", the coach stated. Sitting on the bench during the preseason, as opposed to kneeling, is also how Colin Kaepernick began his anthem protest past year. "You do your thing, OK?' So that's a non-issue for me".

Raiders coach Jack Del Rio says he didn't know about Lynch's plans ahead of the game, according to But what Del Rio said was misleading at best, and outright false at worst.

Lynch did not play in Saturday's game, and he had left the locker room by the time reporters arrived. "I said, 'So you understand how I feel, I very strongly believe in standing for the national anthem".

Del Rio said he spoke with his new running back about his protest, and Lynch told him, "He said, 'This is something I've done for 11 years". Using Twitter, The Ringer's Rodger Sherman found a collection of angry tweets (from a variety of Twitter users) directed at Lynch for sitting during the national anthem before the Seahawks' playoff game against the Panthers in January 2016. Lynch (No. 24) can be seen standing on the sidelines during the anthem (about 3:40 of video).

During an interview on Conan a year ago, Lynch discussed former San Francisco 49ers Colin Kaeperneck taking a knee during the anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice. 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". "You do your thing and we'll do ours", Del Rio said he told, Lynch.

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