Marshawn Lynch didn’t play Saturday night, but he did make a statement in his return to an NFL game field.
Lynch sat during the national anthem, as captured by USA TODAY Sports Images photographers Mark J. Rebilas and Matt Kartozian, before his first preseason game with the Oakland Raiders. Lynch, who was retired for the 2016 season, suited up but didn’t take the field against the Arizona Cardinals.
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick remains a free agent after notably sitting during the national anthem last season. Lynch is on a two-year, $9 million contract with the Oakland Raiders.
Violence broke out at a “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday, leaving one person dead. Lynch has not spoken to the media at this time, so it’s unclear if his statement and the incident are directly related.
UPDATE (1:24 a.m.): Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio spoke to the media after the game and said he was unaware Lynch would sit for the national anthem. Lynch told Del Rio that he has sat for the national anthem for his entire NFL career.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images