The NFL’s ongoing national anthem controversy has made its way into a third season with the story taking center stage during this week’s preseason openers.
While a handful of players conducted social justice protests during the anthem on Thursday’s loaded slate of games, Marshawn Lynch, one of the NFL’s most outspoken players, took a seat on the bench prior to the anthem ahead of Friday’s game between the Oakland Raiders and Detroit Lions.
Marshawn Lynch takes seat before national anthem begins. His same approach as last season. pic.twitter.com/vzaDDQW2hg
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) August 11, 2018
There were no reports of other player protests on Friday.
Lynch always sits during national anthem
It’s not the first and likely not the last time the Raiders running back will sit for the playing of Star-Spangled banner. He sat during Oakland’s preseason opener last season, which caught then-head coach Jack Del Rio off guard.
“I talked to Marshawn to make sure we’re on the same page,” Del Rio said after the 2017 game. “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 will respect you as a man. You do your thing.’ So it’s a non-issue for me.”
Lynch caught Twitter attention from Donald Trump last year
Lynch then drew the ire of President Donald Trump last November when he sat for the Star-Spangled Banner but chose to stand for the Mexican national anthem when the Raiders played the New England Patriots in Mexico City.
Marshawn Lynch of the NFL’s Oakland Raiders stands for the Mexican Anthem and sits down to boos for our National Anthem. Great disrespect! Next time NFL should suspend him for remainder of season. Attendance and ratings way down.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 20, 2017
As he is wont to do, Trump took to Twitter again Friday morning to criticize the players who protested on Thursday.
This is very clearly an issue without an easy answer that is not going away anytime soon.
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