Oakland Raiders player Marshawn Lynch took a seat during the national anthem last night
When Colin Kaepernick, quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, refused to stand for the national anthem last year, people were quick to call him “unpatriotic.” But by taking a knee, he took a stand for what he believed in and soon many other athletes sat in solidarity. Last night, Marshawn Lynch of the Oakland Raiders showed his support for Kaepernick and the fight against racism by taking a seat during the “Star-Spangled Banner.”
If you recall, Kaepernick explained his reason for not standing during the anthem last year as a protest against racial inequality and police brutality in the U.S. According to NFL.com, he said “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” We supported it then, and we support it now — and it seems so does Lynch.
Running back Lynch could be seen sitting by an orange cooler and nibbling on a half-eaten banana on Saturday night, instead of standing at attention. Lynch didn’t speak publicly about the gesture after the game, but back in September, while speaking to talk show host Conan O’Brien, he expressed his support for Kaepernick and the movement.
“I’d rather see him take a knee than stand up, put his hands up, and get murdered,” Lynch told O’Brien.
"My take on it is, it got to start somewhere and if that was the starting point, I just hope people open up their eyes and see that it’s really a problem going on and something needs to be done for it to stop. If you really not racist, then you won’t see what [Kaepernick is] doing as a threat to America, but just addressing a problem that we have."
Saturday night’s game was Lynch’s first since returning from retirement, and with no decrease in police brutality against people of color and the recent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, we can totally understand why he would show his support at this moment.
It’s unfortunate that we’re constantly being reminded that post-racial America is not yet a reality, but we are inspired by those who fearlessly fight for change and stand — or sit — for their beliefs.