Marshawn Lynch drew some controversy before his team’s game in Mexico City on Sunday, sitting for the American national anthem but standing for the Mexican national anthem.
Lynch has been one of a handful of NFL players to consistently sit during the national anthem, joining the protest that former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started last season to speak out against police brutality against minorities. Since returning this season from retirement, Lynch has regularly sat during the national anthem — even before Donald Trump’s criticism of protesting players sparked a league-wide protest.
On Sunday, the Oakland Raiders running back sat for most of the U.S. national anthem before his team took on the New England Patriots at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City, the New York Post noted. The report noted that there were a handful of other player protests earlier in the day, including three players for the Miami Dolphins who took a knee before their game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Lynch’s protest drew special attention as it took place outside of the United States, and because Lynch stood for the Mexican national anthem. His act of protest went viral shortly after the game kicked off, with beat writers sharing pictures of Lynch sitting on a bench on the sidelines.
Marshawn Lynch is no stranger to controversy. Before his retirement, Lynch was frequently fined for on-field celebrations that included grabbing his crotch. In 2015, he was handed a $20,000 fine for making the gesture after a touchdown in the NFC Championship Game against the Green Bay Packers, leading the NFL to warn that the Seattle Seahawks would face a 15-yard penalty if he were to do it in the Super Bowl, USA Today noted.
Lynch was also kicked out of a game earlier this season after making contact with a referee.
The running back has had a difficult return from his retirement this year, rushing for just 323 yards on 86 carries, below his career average of 4.2 yards per carry.
The Oakland Raiders had a rough start after Marshawn Lynch’s national anthem protest. The Patriots jumped out to a 27-0 start just after halftime.
[Featured Image by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images]