Marshawn Lynch gives odd responses to national anthem questions

Sporting News

Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said Marshawn Lynch sitting during the national anthem before last Saturday's preseason game was a "non-issue."

That doesn't mean it's not a topic of discussion for others and the Oakland running back was asked by reporters Thursday to address the "elephant in the room."

"I think that elephant just left the room 'cause a little mouse ran in here," said the former Seahawks running back, who retired following the 2015 season only to join the Raiders this year. "Didn't they say elephants are scared of mouses or something? That mother f—r left, cousin."

Lynch told Del Rio he has sat during the anthem his entire career, but it made headlines this year because of the country's current racial strife. After Lynch spoke of a backpack giveway he's running before kids return to school, he was asked if sitting during the anthem might hurt his popularity in his hometown. He again avoided the question.

"When we run '74' or something like that where I've got to scan and read both sides, that'd be pretty difficult," Lynch said. "But for the most part, I'm a veteran so I can make it work."

After former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeled during the national anthem last season, other players followed suit with their own anthem protests to put a spotlight on police brutality and other injustices toward minorities.

Players like Eagles cornerback Malcolm Jenkins continued their protests this season and Lynch, who did not play last year, sat on the bench during the national anthem before the Raiders opened their preseason schedule against the Cardinals.

Raiders' Marshawn Lynch sits during national anthem
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Lynch said he did not miss football last year and the hardest thing about coming back this year is getting out of bed.

"Waking up early and having to go and do something physical in order to get my body back to playing ability was probably the hardest thing for me because I'm not a morning person," he said. "But after that was over, it was straight."

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