NFL’s Marshawn Lynch Summons His Inner Colin Kaepernick, Sits During National Anthem

Picking up where Colin Kaepernick left off, “unretired” has-been Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch kept it real by making some sort of statement about racism or Charlottesville or something by failing to stand when the National Anthem was played during his team’s preseason NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals last night in Glendale, Arizona. Instead, Lynch sat on a cooler and ate a banana.

It is not known at this point whether Lynch was purposely using racial imagery in his decision to eat a banana (as opposed to any other food except for maybe watermelon or fried chicken) while making his anti-National Anthem statement. American University has recently pronounced bananas publicly hanging from string a racist threat. And in 2013, as was covered very extensively by ESPN, Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones had a banana thrown on the field in his general vicinity by a frustrated San Francisco Giants fan.

According to

The Raiders running back remained seated on a cooler while eating a banana as his teammates and coaches stood during the national anthem prior to the team’s Saturday night preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals. Lynch’s decision came in the wake of a violent white nationalist rally [with violence initiated by leftists while white nationalists were lawfully demonstrating] in Charlottesville, Va. earlier in the day where three people, including two police officers, were killed.

Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio told reporters after the game he was surprised by Lynch’s decision, and had a conversation with the veteran running back who had left the locker room before reporters were able to speak with him.

“He said, ‘This is something I have 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 respect you as a man and you can do your thing.”

Lynch is no stranger to symbolic gestures, vague as the symbolism has been in the past. During his seasons with the Seattle Seahawks (2010-2015), Lynch was known to “celebrate” touchdowns by grabbing his crotch very visibly when entering the end zone.

Lynch, who is now 31 (an age that is relatively ancient for an NFL running back), returned to the NFL this past off-season after announcing his retirement from football in February 2016 following an accumulation of injuries. Lynch made the choice to attempt to resume his athletic career in Oakland, his hometown, which is located in the United States, as opposed to a less-bigoted-according-to-how-many-would-have-you-believe country such as Haiti, Ghana (where Kaepernick recently celebrated the 4th of July) or the Central African Republic.

Lynch’s Raiders replica jersey was recently the #1 seller of all NFL jerseys. (It should be noted that purchases of a certain player’s jersey over the period of a month are not a perfect proxy for a player’ overall relative popularity. The #2-selling jersey during the same period was that of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady; fans had had a few weeks to purchase a Lynch Raiders jersey … while fans have had 18 years to purchase a Brady Patriots jersey.)

Lynch’s passive gesture certainly has earned him accolades from pro-Black Lives Matter individuals on Twitter. (Note: in the second entry below, the use of the double negative does not appear to be the typical use of double negative to create a positive.)

No NFL player has yet made a visible public gesture about the murder of dozens of black African migrants earlier this week via intentional drowning by Arab Muslims off the coast of Yemen.

The Raiders’ off-season acquisition of Lynch, an Oakland native who, given his age and past injuries, is unlikely to be able any longer to perform at a top level, can be interpreted as a desperate public relations move by the Raiders. The Raiders have only made the postseason once in the last 15 years (last season, when they were easily defeated by the Houston Texans in the Wild Card round), and they face a significant level of local disgust due to their upcoming relocation to Las Vegas.

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