GLENDALE, Ariz. — Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch didn’t stand for the national anthem at Saturday’s preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals.
Photos showed Lynch sitting on an orange cooler, holding a banana.
Some questioned whether the move was a silent response to the violence that broke out at a rally protesting the removal of a statue of General Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia.
However, Lynch reportedly said he wasn’t making a statement and has been sitting during the “Star Spangled Banner” for years.
According to NFL.com and the Associated Press, Raiders coach Jack Del Rio didn’t know about Lynch’s plans to sit during the national anthem, but he discussed it with him afterward.
“He said, ‘This is something I’ve done for 11 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 going to respect you as a man, you do your thing. We’ll do ours,'” Del Rio said.
“It’s a nonissue for me.”
Lynch has voiced his support for quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the anthem to protest police brutality against people of color.
“I just hope people open up their eyes to see that it’s really a problem going on and something needs to be done for it to stop,” Lynch told comedian Conan O’Brien in September.
Kaepernick remains an unsigned free agent.
The Cardinals defeated the Raiders, 20-10.