After Donald Trump called any NFL player who kneels during the national anthem a “son of bitch”, expect the Raiders to have multiple players protest during the national anthem.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 24, 2017
Marshawn Lynch has been sitting during the national anthem all season long, but has yet to give a reason behind his actions. Today, he’ll likely have lots of company. Not just with the Raiders, but league wide.
The Jaguars and Ravens kicked off the NFL slate in London with players from both teams kneeling or linking arms, including Jacksonville’s owner, Shahid Khan.
Trump, at a rally in Alabama earlier this week, also said that NFL owners should fire players that kneel.
Trump said: “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!’”
Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio feels very strongly about standing during the anthem.
“It’s never come to a point where I’ve had to address it; it’s always been understood,” Del Rio said to the Mercury News last year. “You stand attention. You pay respect to our flag, our country. That’s always been kind of an assumed thing.”
“In America, as individuals, we all have freedoms, and that’s one of the things that makes our country great,” Del Rio said. “For us, I think it’s more about recognizing that you’re part of an organization. You’re representing our organization, and our organization believes that you should pay respect to the flag. Save those individual decisions to express yourself for an individual forum.”
But when Lynch sat for the anthem in the preseason, Del Rio changed his tune.
"I talked to Marshawn to make sure we were on the same page. He said, ‘This is something I’ve done for 11 years, it’s not a form of anything other than me being myself’. I said, ‘So you understand how I feel, I very strongly believe in standing for the National Anthem, but I’m gonna respect you as a man. You do your thing and we’ll do ours’. So that’s a non-issue for me,” Del Rio said.
The Raiders take on the Redskins on Sunday night just 14 miles from the White House. The game will be nationally televised on NBC.
Tyler Bischoff hosts Coaches Corner on AM 720 KDWN Monday through Friday at 6:00 pm.