The Raiders and Patriots played in Mexico City on Sunday, and Oakland running back Marshawn Lynch showed that his activism is not confined by national borders.
Lynch has been part of the wave of players protesting racial injustice this fall, and on Sunday he again sat during the pregame playing of the Star-Spangled Banner. Then, presumably figuring he has no specific grievance against the Mexican government, he stood during the playing of the Himno Nacional Mexicano, according to The Boston Globe’s Ben Volin.
Marshawn Lynch sits during the US national anthem, stands for Mexican anyhem pic.twitter.com/8wdaKprEki
— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) November 19, 2017
Mexican national anthem being sung on field at Estadio Azteca. And throughout the crowd. Marshawn Lynch rose for it. pic.twitter.com/Pz4GoEfyuw
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) November 19, 2017
As with all protests during the anthem, Lynch’s demonstration prompted plenty of strong opinions. Expectedly, some observers criticized Lynch for disrespecting to the American anthem while saluting the Mexican one, while others applauded him for making clear exactly who he was protesting.
Anyway, Lynch followed his protest with one of his strongest halves of the year, gaining 61 yards on nine carries.
Marshawn bounced it out and saw plenty of green.
— OAKLAND RAIDERS (@RAIDERS) November 19, 2017
Lynch has struggled a bit this season after returning from a brief retirement, making his performance early against the Patriots is a promising sign.
As for his protest, Marshawn is not one to explain himself to the media, so we won’t necessarily learn the thought process that led him to sit for one anthem and stand for the other. But given that players across the league have been protesting police brutality and institutional racism in America, it shouldn’t be too hard to figure out.