Marshawn Lynch made the headlines after he was caught during a preseason N.F.L. game sitting while the national anthem before the Oakland Raiders’ 20-10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday night.
Lynch, the ex-Seattle running back who came out of retirement this year to sign with his hometown Raiders, sat on an orange cooler with his arms resting on his knees, while others around him stood.
Although he rarely speaks to the press , Lynch has voiced support for quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the anthem last season to protest what he saw as a pattern of police mistreatment of minorities.
Lynch did not play in Saturday’s game, and he had left the locker room by the time reporters arrived.
Coach Jack Del Rio said he had spoken to Lynch about the issue after the game.
“He 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.
The coach said that he told Lynch: “Just 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.”