Raiders’ Marshawn Lynch sits during national anthem before preseason game

Updated August 13, 2017 - 1:35 am

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Marshawn Lynch did not join teammates who stood for the pregame national anthem Saturday.

He sat on a sideline cooler instead.

The Raiders running back was not available to comment on the gesture before press time, so it is unclear what relation, if any, the events surrounding Charlottesville, Virginia, had on his decision. White supremacists protested and a vehicle was driven into a crowd of people hours before kickoff, fatally striking a female counterprotester.

Following the game, coach Jack Del Rio told reporters he was unaware that Lynch would sit during the national anthem, expressed respect for the anthem and said he doesn’t believe Lynch is a distraction.

He said he spoke to Lynch about the issue after the game.

“He 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.

Del Rio told Lynch “just 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.”

“So that’s a non-issue for me,” Del Rio told reporters.

Lynch’s locker was cleared by the time the media was permitted to enter the locker room after the game.

Lynch did not play in the game.

More Raiders: Follow all of our Oakland Raiders-to-Las Vegas coverage online at and @NFLinVegas on Twitter.

Contact Michael Gehlken at Follow @GehlkenNFL on Twitter.

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