Critics, fans react to Marshawn Lynch sitting out anthem at Raiders game

John Lackey leaves Friday's start with one out in the fifth after allowing a solo homer to Paul Goldschmidt

NFL star running back Marshawn Lynch sat on a cooler Saturday night during the national anthem, as his Oakland Raiders waited to play the Arizona Cardinals in a Phoenix preaseason game.

In a time of controversy and racial tension in the United States, Lynch chose the ideal moment to sit during the national anthem.

Lynch has voiced his support for quarterback Colin Kaepernick's decision to kneel during the anthem to protest police brutality against people of color.

People on social media, on the other hand, had plenty to say both for and against the move. That sentiment was echoed by Oakland Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio after last night's exhibition game.

"On Marshawn, talked to Marshawn trying to make sure we're on the same page", Del Rio told reporters after the game.

If you recall, Kaepernick explained his reason for not standing during the anthem a year ago as a protest against racial inequality and police brutality in the U.S. According to NFL.com, he said "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color". But I respect him as a man and he can do his thing. Kaepernick, who has not signed with any teams since his contract ended last season with the 49ers, has said he would stand during the National Anthem in 2017, but as of now, is not on any team's roster.

In his first game back since he retired following the 2015 season, Lynch was dressed in uniform but did not play. Lynch (No. 24) can be seen standing on the sidelines during the anthem (about 3:40 of video). "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".

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