Raiders' Lynch sits during pregame anthem

NFL player sits out national anthem to protest Virginia violence

One of the hottest topics of discussion this past season in the National Football League was the protesting of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, and thanks to Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch, that topic will be discussed even further as the regular season draws closer.

Marshawn Lynch appeared to stage a silent protest in his return to the NFL, as the Oakland Raiders' running back remained seated during the national anthem prior to the team's exhibition opener at the Arizona Cardinals.

As the anthem played, Lynch was photographed by USA Today sitting on an orange cooler while teammates, coaches and support staff stood at attention. "So, I mean, my take on it is [expletive]'s got to start somewhere, and if that was the starting point - I just hope people open up their eyes to see there's really a problem going on, and something needs to be done for it to stop".

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The 31-year-old Lynch came out of retirement when he was acquired by the Raiders in April after spending five seasons with the Seattle Seahawks.

Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers after the season, but hasn't yet been signed by another team. Lynch has not spoken to the media at this time, so it's unclear if his statement and the incident are directly related.

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