Raiders

Del Rio: According to Lynch, he's always sat during national anthem

Del Rio: According to Lynch, he's always sat during national anthem

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch sat during the national anthem before Saturday’s preseason game at Arizona.

Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio didn’t know he was going to do that. The two discussed it afterward and came to an understanding.

Del Rio prefers his players stand at attention for the national anthem, a view he expressed after former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeled during the song protesting racial inequality and police brutality against minorities.

Lynch told Del Rio he has been sitting forever.

“I talked to Marshawn to make sure we’re on the same page,” Del Rio said after a 20-10 loss to the Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. “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 will respect you as a man. You do your thing.’ So it’s a non-issue for me.”

Several media outlets photographed Lynch sitting on a cooler, munching on a banana during the national anthem.

The issue was polarizing when Kaepernick protested last year and was joined by several players across the country. Raiders linebackers Bruce Irvin and Malcolm Smith joined in early last year, by standing through the anthem with a raised fist before a game at Tennessee.

Lynch sitting down was immediately lumped in with those incidents. Lynch voiced support for Kaepernick while speaking to talk-show host Conan O’Brien last year, and Saturday’s sit-down came right after racially-motivated protests and violence recently took place in Charlottesville, Va.

Lynch did not clarify why he generally sits during the national anthem, as he told Del Rio. He left the Raiders locker room before it was open to the media. He did not speak with the press.

How Raiders' Nick Kwiatkoski showed his value with Bears last season

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USATSI

How Raiders' Nick Kwiatkoski showed his value with Bears last season

When opportunity knocked last year for Nick Kwiatkoski, the Chicago Bears’ four-year reserve linebacker, he answered.

With free agency looming, he was put in position to show the rest of the NFL what the Bears privately knew about the high-motor, highly athletic 26-year-old: It wasn’t a lack of ability that prevented Kwiatkoski from being a full-time starter, it was that the Bears had some of the best players in football at his position.

In Kwiatkoski, the Bears’ depth chart was hiding a starting caliber linebacker. And not just a situational one, but the highly coveted three-down kind who can play the run and the pass.

All of which he showed in an eight-game stint at the end of the 2019 season. He had 50 tackles, two sacks, four tackles for loss and four pass breakups to firmly establish himself as a valuable free agent target.

READ ABOUT KWIATKOSKI AT REVIEW-JOURNAL

 

Raiders' Zay Jones shares heartwarming story amid racial tensions

Raiders' Zay Jones shares heartwarming story amid racial tensions

The death of George Floyd while in police custody Monday in Minnesota has re-ignited racial tensions in this country.

Protests are occurring in cities all over the United States, and professional athletes are speaking up about their experiences.

On Saturday, Raiders wide receiver Zay Jones shared a heartwarming story on Twitter about an encounter he had with an woman at a home goods store.

That's powerful.

Jones, a Dallas, Texas native, was acquired by the Raiders in a trade with the Buffalo Bills last October.

In 10 games for the Raiders, Jones caught 20 passes for 147 yards.

[RELATED: Jones, Carr building chemistry]

But receiving this unnamed woman into his arms is the biggest catch of Jones' career.

[RAIDERS TALK: Listen to the latest episode]