Marshawn Lynch took a page out of Colin Kaepernick’s book when he sat down during the national anthem at a pre-season game between The Arizona Cardinals and The Oakland Raiders.
Kapernick’s choice to sit or kneel during the anthem was influenced by a spate of murders of black men by the police. But according to Raiders coach, Jack Del Rio, this is something that Marshawn Lynch has been doing for over 10 years.
“[Lynch] said, ‘This is something I’ve done for 11 years. It’s not a form of anything other than me being myself,'” Del Rio said to the Guardian. “I said, ‘So you understand how I feel. I very strongly believe in standing for the national anthem, but I’m going to respect you as a man. You do your thing, and we’ll do ours.’ So that’s a non-issue for me.”
According to the Guardian, there are photos which indicate that Lynch used to stand for the “Star Spangled Banner” when he played for the Seattle Seahawks. But during his break from the NFL last year, he did say that he supports Kaepernick’s protest.
Kaepernick’s protest was heavily criticized by NFL insiders and fans alike. When he started to sit during the national anthem in games, 49ers fans would buy his jersey to burn it. At this point, Colin isn’t on a team despite a strong performance record. This has led many to believe that he’s being blackballed by owners in the league because of his protest.
In an interview with Deadspin, the president of the NFL Players Association, Eric Winston, says that he has a feeling that the owners are blackballing Colin and offered the support of the association to help him with the situation.
Marshawn Lynch takes a stand with Colin Kaepernick — by sitting during the national anthem https://t.co/Swc9JtFA86
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) August 13, 2017
“You definitely get that feeling—obviously, that’s very hard to prove and it’s very hard to show. But, at the same time, for Christ’s sakes, you have an owner out there publicly saying, ‘I’m polling fans to decide whether I should have this guy on my team or not.’ It’s obvious that owners are scared of it, are worried about it,” he said.
— Ravens Nation (@LIVERavenNation) August 13, 2017
Winston added that since Kaepernick is one of the top 64 quarterbacks in the world, it doesn’t make sense that he is unemployed right now. According to CBS Sports, there are teams who have expressed an interest in signing him like the Raiders and the Seahawks but the contract negotiations haven’t made any progress. Apparently Ravens fans have stated that they are against Kaepernick coming to Baltimore. Giants owner, John Mara, has also said that fans have declared that they would boycott the team if they sign Colin Kaepernick.
Even if Colin Kaepernick never returns to the NFL, the national anthem protest will more than likely continue as we’ve already seen Marshawn Lynch sit down. Also, Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins has said that he will continue to protest the “Star Spangled Banner” this year.
Do you think that Colin Kaepernick will be signed to a team for the new NFL season? Let us know in the comments below.
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[Featured Image by Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for Activision]