Marshawn Lynch sat through the national anthem again during the Raiders’ preseason opener against the Detroit Lions on Friday, as he has throughout last season. Lynch was the only player on the field who chose to not stand during the anthem.
Lynch has never spoken on why he sits during the national anthem, but he did stand for the Mexican anthem during last year's game in Mexico City. Other players also protested the anthem this week, including Dolphins players Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson, who both took a knee during the anthem as their teammate Robert Quinn raised his fist.
Marshawn Lynch takes seat before national anthem begins. His same approach as last season. pic.twitter.com/vzaDDQW2hg— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) August 11, 2018
The NFL is still figuring out its national anthem policy, and in the interim, the league says that players won’t be penalized for kneeling.
“The NFL has engaged in constructive discussions with the NFL Players Association regarding the anthem and issues of equality and social justice that are of concern to many Americans,” the league said in a statement on Thursday. “While those discussions continue, the NFL has agreed to delay implementing or enforcing any club work rules that could result in players being disciplined for their conduct during the performance of the anthem.”
According to the league, its new policy from May hasn’t gone away—it just hasn’t been enforced and won’t be until the NFL decides on a new policy.
“There has been no change in the NFL's policy regarding the national anthem,” the league said. “The anthem will continue to be played before every game, and all player and non-player personnel on the field at that time are expected to stand during the presentation of the flag and performance of the anthem. Personnel who do not wish to do can choose to remain in the locker room.”