When Colin Kaepernick sat for the national anthem during a preseason game last year, it was with the hopes of using his platform to spark a discussion about racial inequality and police brutality. When Marshawn Lynch sat for the national anthem during a Raiders preseason game this year, it was just another example of Marshawn being Marshawn.
Lynch has sat for the national anthem for the last decade or so, and according to Raiders coach Jack Del Rio, the team’s star running back does this as “a form of…being myself.” But Lynch’s decision to sit for The Star-Spangled Banner during the Raiders’ Week 11 contest against New England is coming under scrutiny from the President of the United States on Monday morning.
Donald Trump tweeted that the NFL should suspend him the next time Lynch sits during the anthem, partly because he stood for the national anthem of Mexico on Sunday.
The Raiders and the Patriots squared off in Mexico City, meaning both anthems were played. The belief that the league should suspend players who “disrespect” the flag during the anthem is not a new one from Trump, nor is the belief that the league’s ratings are down because of these demonstrations by players.
Despite the president’s tweets, the league and its owners have not invoked any kind of rule regarding standing for the anthem.