Marshawn Lynch might need to change his nickname from Beast Mode to Woke Mode, this after the Oakland Raiders running back remained seated during the playing of the National Anthem. During a preseason contest with the Arizona Cardinals, the 31-year-old NFL star sat on a cooler during the playing of the song but the decision was cleared with his coach, Jack Del Rio.
Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said he spoke with Lynch after the game and was not aware that he planned to sit.
“[Lynch] 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. “I said, ‘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, and we’ll do ours.’ So that’s a non-issue for me.”
Photos circulated on social media Sunday showing Lynch standing for the anthem during his Seahawks days, including for Super Bowl XLIX.
Raiders quarterback E.J. Manuel said the team supports Lynch, adding the decision was “more of a personal thing” for him.
While Lynch’s seating may or may not be a silent protest, he has mentioned free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick‘s politically-charged stances in the past.