Green Beret Nate Boyer Weighs In on Lynch, Bennett National Anthem Protest

Alec NathanFeatured ColumnistAugust 19, 2017

Seattle Seahawks long snapper and military veteran Nate Boyer runs out of the tunnel with a U.S. flag at the start of a preseason NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Friday, Aug. 14, 2015, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

Former Green Beret and Seattle Seahawks long snapper Nate Boyer told TMZ Sports on Saturday that while he doesn't agree with Marshawn Lynch and Michael Bennett's decision to protest the national anthem, he understands they have the right to do so. 

"They have every right to do what they're doing," Boyer said. "I don't necessarily agree with it, but it's their right, and it's the right that I fought for.

"They're not hurting anybody. They're not hitting women like some of these people in the league are doing."

Boyer added he was more concerned about "how divided we are and how angry we are at each other as a country."

Asked Thursday about why he decided to sit for the national anthem during the Oakland Raiders' preseason opener against the Arizona Cardinals, Lynch offered a non-answer in only a way he can.

"I think that elephant just left the room cause a little mouse ran in here," Lynch said, per NFL.com's Kevin Patra. "Didn't they say elephants are scared of mouses or something? That [expletive] left, cousin."

Last September, Lynch told Conan O'Brien he supported Colin Kaepernick's decision to kneel for the national anthem.

"With what's going on, I'd rather see [Kaepernick] take a knee than stand up, put his hands up and get murdered," Lynch said. "So I mean, my take on it is [it has] got to start somewhere. 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."

Bennett, meanwhile, has pledged to sit for the national anthem throughout the 2017 season as a silent protest against social injustice.

On an episode of HBO's Real Sports last September, Boyer told Bryant Gumbel he helped convince Kaepernick to kneel for the anthem rather than sit after the two spoke and agreed to find "middle ground."