Although the start of the 2017 regular season is still several weeks away, new Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch is already creating headlines.
The 31-year-old chose to sit for the National Anthem on Saturday night during Oakland’s exhibition contest against Arizona. Even though he suited up for the preseason matchup, he did not see any action on the field.
With all of the continued buzz surrounding former San Francisco 49ers and current free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick, it is no surprise that Lynch’s decision forced a reaction from Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio. However, it appears as though the veteran NFL mind is currently on board with whatever it is that his newest offensive weapon decides to do going forward.
“[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, via ESPN. “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.”
On the other hand, Raiders backup quarterback E.J. Manuel added that the rest of the team supports Lynch while noting that “Beast Mode’s” decision was “more of a personal thing.”