September 24, 2017 - 6:02 pm
Updated September 24, 2017 - 11:57 pm
LANDOVER, Md. — Offensive lineman Jon Feliciano kneeled, his back to the U.S. flag.
Running back Marshawn Lynch sat on a sideline cooler, a spot he assumed during the pre-game anthem of the preseason and first two regular-season weeks. This time, he had company, as running back DeAndre Washington, wide receiver Michael Crabtree and wide receiver Johnny Holton joined him.
More than a dozen Raiders players sat on a bench with interlocked arms. Some like quarterback Derek Carr stood; his eyes were closed.
All were together.
— OAKLAND RAIDERS (@RAIDERS) September 25, 2017
No Raiders player or coach stood alone Sunday evening for the national anthem before a game against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. The team stood behind the area at which it typically resides, herding together in a show of unity. Owner Mark Davis stood in a suite box watching, right hand over his heart.
This followed a Friday rally in Alabama at which President Donald Trump told a crowd that owners should “fire” any player who protests during the anthem, calling such players a “son of a bitch.”
According to the game’s NBC broadcast, the Raiders wanted to boycott the entire national anthem like the Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans. But with it being a primetime game, the club would’ve forfeited the coin toss and received a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
The Raiders won the toss and elected to receive the ball.
Carr threw an interception on the opening series, which Washington converted to a 7-0 lead with a 22-yard touchdown catch by running back Chris Thompson.
Contact reporter Michael Gehlken at email@example.com. Follow @GehlkenNFL on Twitter.