Tags: john lynch | national anthem | protests | divisive

John Lynch: National Anthem Protests 'Divisive'

John Lynch: National Anthem Protests 'Divisive'

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)

By    |   Friday, 18 August 2017 11:36 AM

San Francisco 49ers GM John Lynch thinks the NFL national anthem protests are “divisive” and are hurting the game of football, but still respects players’ rights to go through them.

49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick drew widespread criticism last year when he chose to remain seated during the national anthem.

Last week, Oakland Raiders’ Marshawn Lynch remained seated while the national anthem played prior to a game against the Arizona Cardinals. ESPN speculated the running back was staging a silent protest as he sat on a cooler box, holding a banana while his teammates all rose to sing the anthem.

Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett also didn't stand, Sports Illustrated said. 

Lynch spoke about the issue later, saying the game had always united people and brought them together.

“I think personally when I see that, I think that's divisive," he said.

"And I understand guys see things and they're not happy. They have that right. And I think we'll always respect people's rights. That doesn't mean I believe that. I believe this game should be celebrated for what it is. I think [it's] a tremendous unifier for our country and for the way things should be."

Kaepernick, who remains unsigned this season, had said he would not show pride for a country that was oppressive towards black people.

“To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way,” he said, per Deadspin.com. “There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

Lynch, on the other hand, has been less vocal.

The only explanation was offered by Raiders coach Jack Del Rio, who told ESPN it was something the running back claimed to have done for the past 11 years.

Rio said he felt very strong about standing for the national anthem but told the player he was going to respect his decision.

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San Francisco 49ers GM John Lynch thinks the NFL national anthem protests are “divisive” and are hurting the game of football, but still respects players’ rights to go through them.
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Friday, 18 August 2017 11:36 AM
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