Colin Kaepernick hasn’t been able to get an NFL team to pick him up yet, but at least there is someone else who is willing to stand — or sit with him.
According to Newsmax, Ex-Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch — in his first outing as an Oakland Raider — decided to sit for the national anthem before the game began.
Lynch came out of retirement to join up with the Raiders, his hometown team. While the anthem was being played, he sat on an orange water cooler while the other players stood. This isn’t the first time, though, as he sometimes sat during the anthem while playing for the Seahawks.
Previously, Lynch has expressed support for Colin Kaepernick. In September of 2016, Lynch told ESPN,
“I just hope people open up their eyes to see that there’s really a problem going on, and something needs to be done for it to stop. And if you’re really not racist then you won’t see what he’s doing as a threat to America, but just addressing a problem that we have.”
Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem last year as a way to protest police brutality against black Americans. He gave an explanation to NFL Media,
“To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
After the media began focusing on Kaepernick’s protest, other football players began to follow suit — sitting down or taking a knee while the national anthem is played. Kneeling isn’t the only way the former 49ers quarterback has expressed his views on the police. He also attended practice wearing socks that depicted police officers as pigs. On Instagram, he explained why,
“I wore these socks, in the past, because the rogue cops that are allowed to hold positions in police departments, not only put the community in danger, but also put the cops that have the right intentions in danger by creating an environment of tension and mistrust. I have two uncles and friends who are police officers and work to protect and serve ALL people. So before these socks, which were worn before I took my public stance, are used to distract from the real issues, I wanted to address this immediately.”
According to The Daily Caller, Kaepernick’s protest was one of the main reasons the NFL experienced declining ratings. They report that hundreds of thousands stated that they would boycott the NFL for allowing the former quarterback to protest in this way. The NFL has maintained that the presidential election was the real reason for their falling ratings. While the ratings came back up after the election was over, it did not rise enough to offset the losses, which suggests that both the election and Kaepernick’s protest played a role.
This season, Colin Kaepernick has not been signed to any NFL team. There are a couple reasons for this. The quarterback has not performed as well as he has in previous seasons. The decline in his performance is seen as a major factor.
However, the fact that he has earned the ire of a significant number of NFL fans is likely the more important element. While he has the first amendment right to protest, the Constitution does not give him the right to avoid the consequences of his protest.