Marshawn Lynch Answers Anthem Protest Question with Elephant in the Room Joke

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistAugust 17, 2017

Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch (24) stands on the sidelines during the second half of an NFL preseason football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch clearly has no interest in discussing his decision to sit for the national anthem. Lynch met with the media Thursday but offered no insight into his reasoning, instead avoiding the question with a tongue-in-cheek reply. 

"I think that elephant just left the room 'cause a little mouse ran in here," Lynch told reporters. "Didn't they say elephants are scared of mouses or something? That motherf--ker left, cousin."

Jordan Heck of Sporting News provided the NSFW clip:

Lynch, who came out of retirement to join the Raiders this offseason, was shown sitting alone on the bench before Oakland's first preseason game. The photo came on the same day that a domestic terrorist drove a car into counter-protestors at the Charlottesville, Virginia "Unite the Right" rally organized by white nationalists.

Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said Lynch has been sitting for the anthem for his entire career.

"On Marshawn, talked to Marshawn trying to make sure we're on the same page," Del Rio told reporters. "He said, 'This is something I've done for 11 years. It's not a form of anything other than me being myself.' I said, 'So you understand how I feel, I very strongly believe in standing for the national anthem. But I'm going to respect you as a man, you do your thing. We'll do ours.' It's a non-issue for me."

Lynch's decision to sit for the anthem drew direct comparisons to Colin Kaepernick, who remains a free agent in large part due to his protest in 2016. Kaepernick either sat or knelt during the anthem throughout the 2016 season with the San Francisco 49ers as a protest against police brutality and social injustice.