Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch sat out during the singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” national anthem for the second consecutive preseason game against the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday night, while quarterback Derek Carr joined a growing list of white professional players to offer support to black American teammates by putting his hand on Khalil Mack’s shoulder during the singing of US national anthem.
After the exhibition contest where the Rams won 24-21, the two-time Pro Bowler Carr talked about the his simple gesture, per ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez:
“What we wanted to do was show all the kids that look up to me, look up to him, that white kids, blue kids, brown kids, blue, green, doesn’t matter, can all be loving to each other. And that’s what me and Khalil are—we’re best friends and we love one another.
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“The only reason we did that is to unify people, and to unify the people that look up to us because, obviously, we see what’s going on in the world and, obviously, everyone pays attention to the national anthem nowadays, and so we just said this was the best time to do it while still honoring our country. Because I love this country, more than anything. We’re free to live here and play this game, but we’re also free to show each other that we love one another. And I think that that’s the message, and that’s the only message we were trying to get out.”
Quarterback Derek Carr and linebacker Khalil Mack stood together, with the former placing his hand on the latter’s back as a statement of solidarity as the two stood for “The Star-Spangled Banner” national anthem
Lynch declined to talk about his decision to take a knee during the national anthem. The former Seahawks running back was also elusive during the week when he was pressed concerning the topic. The media who asked him with regards to his determination to sit out during national anthem called it the “elephant in the room,” leading to a colorful and obscure response from Marshawn Lynch.