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13 August 2017, 06:09 | Anna Jefferson
K.J. Brent can improve his roster chances starting with Saturday’s exhibition opener
Marshawn Lynch didn't play Saturday night, but he did make a statement in his return to an National Football League game field.
The 31-year-old chose to sit for the National Anthem on Saturday night during Oakland's exhibition contest against Arizona.
Lynch was not in the NFL last season when San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeled during the national anthem in his protest against racism. It looked as if the Cardinals were headed for a short field goal, but the Raiders were called for covering the snapper on the kick, giving Arizona a first down and setting up its opening TD.
"He said, 'This is something I've done for 11 years - it's not a form of anything other than me being myself, ' " Del Rio said in a postgame news conference.
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Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said he was not aware of Lynch's plans to sit during the anthem, and Del Rio added that he spoke with Lynch after the game. He's among the most dominant running backs of the past decade, a Super Bowl victor, and returned from retirement this year to play for his hometown Raiders. "And I mean, if you're really not racist, then you're going to see what he's done, what he's doing, [not] as a threat to America, but just addressing a problem that we have". I missed a couple.
Two of the Raiders' top defensive players, All-Pro defensive end Khalil Mack and linebacker Bruce Irvin, joined Carr and Lynch as spectators.
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