Opinion: Quit Purposefully Misjudging Lynch On National Anthem

Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch
Nov 19, 2017; Mexico City, MEX; Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch (24) sits behind the bench the playing of the United States national anthem before an NFL International Series game against the New England Patriots at Estadio Azteca. The Patriots defeated the Raiders 33-8. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn sat during The Star Spangled Banner on Sunday afternoon. Apparently, this ruffled the president’s feathers. In addition, Lynch chose to stand for the Himno Nacional Mexicano (Mexican anthem). That action sent shockwaves of false outage and anger barreling toward the Raiders’ running back. Social media exploded with everyone chiming in, offering thoughts.

Yesterday, President Trump took to Twitter, lambasting Marshawn Lynch and demanding the NFL suspend him for not standing for the anthem. That emboldens some members of RaiderNation to lash out at their own team, management and back. With that said, it boggles the mind that this foolishness picks up steam. Fans question Lynch’s motives, character and upbringing. So, here is a rough sketch of Lynch.


First, Marshawn Lynch plays football. His motive is clear. Derek Carr gives him the ball, causing him to run at the line of scrimmage with force. Next, everyone who studies Lynch knows that he’s sat for the anthem for the better part of his career. Choosing to stand for the Mexican National Anthem is a choice. As a visitor to a foreign land, maybe he wanted to show his hosts proper respect.  If so, other prominent Americans need to exhibit similar behavior when travelling abroad.



The easiest, laziest and most profoundly incorrect conclusion to draw with Marshawn Lynch is the thug from the streets of Oakland. If that is the tact the narrow-minded choose, then they are half right. Lynch calls Oakland home. Through and through, he embodies the heart, determination and toughness of his hometown.

When the ignorant see Lynch, they see someone who does not conform to the norm, preferring to do his own thing. Good. America succeeds when individuals impact the nation in various ways. In addition, Lynch’s foundation provides free services to Oakland youth. From free haircuts for academic performance to backpacks to various charity events, Lynch reaches a wide array of citizens. Assailing his character smacks of a cop out, constructed to grab attention. When an athlete gives so much of himself, people should cheer. Yet, making a personal decision brings scorn and rebukes from fans.


Through the wonders of Twitter, RaiderNation became familiar with Delisa Lynch, Marshawn’s mother. Ms. Lynch interacts with the Nation like few relatives of superstars do. Her open, frank, yet engaging demeanor won over the dourest of fan. Ms. Lynch, unafraid to speak her mind, promotes positivity in times of struggle. As the Raiders continue to struggle during the season, she approaches each day, like we all should: like a blessing. For those criticizing Marshawn Lynch’s decision to not stand for the anthem, blaming his rearing remains asinine, it shows shallowness of thought.


In essence, the president used Marshawn Lynch for cover. While political controversies swirl around Washington, he saw Lynch as an easy diversion. Leave the misdirection to magicians and running backs. This isn’t a political commentary, more of a reality check. America needs to focus on more pressing issue. Regardless of your party affiliation, we cannot focus on this non-issue.

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