Oakland Raiders Marshawn Lynch sits during national anthem

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Ex-Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch took a seat Saturday during the national anthem at a pre-season Oakland Raiders game, and social media went a little insane.

Lynch's decision to sit shouldn't come as a surprise.

Lynch didn't play in the Saturday game, when the Raiders lost 20-10 to the Cardinals.

Lynch's apparent protest comes in wake of this weekend's violent white nationalist rallies in Charlottesville, Va. and falls in line with what Colin Kaepernick started around the National Football League last season as players found ways to protest racism and police brutality during the playing of the anthem before games. Kaepernick, who has not signed with any teams since his contract ended last season with the 49ers, has said he would stand during the National Anthem in 2017, but as of now, is not on any team's roster.

In a time of controversy and racial tension in the United States, Lynch chose the ideal moment to sit during the national anthem. Lynch didn't speak publicly about the gesture after the game, but back in September, while speaking to talk show host Conan O'Brien, he expressed his support for Kaepernick and the movement.

Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said he was unaware of Lynch's intention to sit but said he spoke with Lynch after the game.

"He said, 'This is something I have done for 11 years". I very strongly believe in standing for the national anthem, but I'm going to respect you as a man. "We'll do ours.' It's a non-issue for me". "So my take on it is shit has to start somewhere, and if that was the starting point, I just hope people open up their eyes to see that there's really a problem going on, and something needs to be done for it to stop".

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