Reason #4080 to love Marshawn Lynch. The retired NFL running back appeared on “CONAN” to talk about everything from a chocolate bar he is promoting to his Fam First Foundation. Like many of his peers he was asked about Colin Kaepernick’s protests during the National Anthem. Kaepernick has inspired athletes around the country—professional, high school and collegiate—to take a knee or raise a fist during the playing of the “Star Spangled Banner” to bring awareness to social injustice. The QB has received backlash from his players and fans across the board, but has remained steadfast in the face of death threats. In addition to the $1 Million he initially pledged to donate to charity, he has donated the proceeds from his increased jersey sales and another $100,000 per month.
The timing of his protest has been punctuated by two more police shootings of Black men in Tulsa and Charlotte this week alone.
“With what’s going on I’d rather see him take a knee than stand up with his hands up and get murdered,” he said. Tulsa man Terence Crutcher had his hands raised in the air when he was tased and shot by Oklahoma police. “I just hope people open up their eyes to see that it’s really a problem going on and something needs to be done for it to stop. If you really not racist you won’t see what he’s doing as a threat to America, just addressing the problem we have.”
Lynch may not have been the most verbose person when he was playing, but when he chooses to speak he makes it count. His former team the Seattle Seahawks chose not to join the protests, but instead locked arms in a “show of unity.” However, like many of Kaepernick’s critics, they have been silent on the events that inspired his protest, like the killings of Terence Crutcher & Keith Lamont Scott this week.