Before Saturday night’s preseason game in Arizona, Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch was spotted seated during the playing of the National Anthem. Just as for previous protests last season from several players including, of course, Colin Kaepernick; sitting for the anthem is controversial.
One of the sticking points with those who disagree with a player sitting for the National Anthem is the idea of dividing a locker room, even though there has been nothing to suggest that is actually happening and following Saturday’s game, Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said he had no issue with Lynch’s actions.
Today, teammate Jared Cook went a step further.
“I’m proud of him,” said Cook of Lynch sitting for the anthem. “I think it’s awesome that he did it. Everybody has a voice, especially with what happened in Charlottesville just the night before. I think it’s important for men in our position to step up and speak on unnecessary situations that we find ourselves in as young minorities in this country a lot of times, so I’m proud of him.”
After practice, just like after Saturday’s game, Marshawn did not speak with the media to clarify his intentions. Today after practice myself and other requested to speak with him, but he declined.
Because of Lynch’s reluctance to speak with the media regularly, all we have to go on is Del Rio’s retelling of their conversation as to his specific reasoning, which Del Rio said he was told ‘it wasn’t anything about anything.’
Cook said Lynch didn’t speak with his teammates about staying seated for the anthem and Cook didn’t know Lynch was going to do it, adding “I don’t know what he wanted to do by it, but I know that guys like Colin Kaepernick have become my favorite football player because of it.”
Whether Cook intends to join Lynch or any other teammates in any kind of protest, he left that open as a possibility.
“I have in the past. As far as the future I don’t know. I know I feel uneasy about the situation that’s going on in this country and have for been for a while, so as far as it determines my future moves, I’m not sure.”