NFL now braces for the fallout from Marshawn Lynch protest

AP

Keeping Colin Kaepernick out of the NFL has kept away plenty of scrutiny that may have come from politicians who have made their views clear on Kaepernick’s protests. But that hasn’t kept the protests out of football, which will now make the NFL sit back and worry about the potential fallout from the activities of the past couple of days.

The decision of Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins to reprise his protest likely sparked a shrug at 345 Park Avenue, since Jenkins put a fist in the air during the anthem throughout 2016. Since Jenkins wasn’t the leader of the movement, it wasn’t a big deal — and probably won’t be this year.

The bigger problem for the league comes from the out-of-the-blue decision of new Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch to sit for the anthem, and in turn to decline (for now) to explain why he did. To the extent that owners reportedly have shied away from Kaepernick because they fear being tweet-shamed by the Commander-in-Chief, Lynch’s gesture breaks new ground in a major way.

A player who enjoys massive popularity throughout the nation and who is clearly good enough to not have to worry about suddenly being shunned for “football reasons” has now taken what Kaepernick started to a new, conspicuous level. The NFL, still wobbly from last year’s ratings dip and clearly worried that protests will alienate fans, will now have to wait and see what happens.

Here’s one thing that likely won’t happen: Raiders owner Mark Davis won’t be seeking input from fans and sponsors regarding whether his team should keep Lynch. Which may not enhance the standing of Davis among his peers, but maybe it should.

86 responses to “NFL now braces for the fallout from Marshawn Lynch protest

  1. What a shame. I used to like Marshawn, too. But since you’re spitting in the face of my family and many other families who sacrificed for you and your oppressed millions of dollars…you can hit the bricks like Kaep did. Such a waste.

  2. The NFL has always been a great escape for me. Enjoy a beer, yell a little and forget about the BS in the world for a couple hours. I might as well watch the news since the drama levels are about equal.

  3. We’ll see if Mark Davis has a backbone and tells Marshawn to stand. If he wants to play for the Raiders and represent Oakland he needs to stand. Otherwise its back to retirement boss. This season could quickly turn into a circus.

  4. I cringed when I saw John Carlos and Tommy Smith do the racist power salute in Mexico City in ’68. Marshawn: you were out of football for a year and just had to do it. Imitation isn’t always flattery: it’s lame.

  5. Thank you Marshawn for carrying the torch. It’s NOT about disrespecting the flag, it’s about raising awareness toward a long-standing injustice.

    If you’re not black and do not experience the fear of being killed at any moment by police, I hope at least you have the compassion to empathize with those who don’t share your privilege.

  6. I think the Raiders are going to regret bringing this selfish malcontent in. The Raiders seemed to be a team on the rise and looked to have a very promising season. Hopefully for Raider fans, Reggie and Jack can control this jerk and not have him disrupt the entire team.

  7. Sitting is one thing. Exercise your right to protest, and I respect his right to protest (I definitely don’t agree with it, but freedom’s a two-way street so I wouldn’t want it the other way).
    However, at least take off the beanie/hat while you’re sitting. There’s a fine line between protest and disrespect. Not taking off your hate is disrespectful. I hate when I see it up-close at ball games, and this is no different. Take off the hat, Skittles.

  8. NFL has made its bed and now will sleep in it..what is the old adage, listen to the fans and you will be sitting with them. Rather than suppressing Kaepernick, after initial backlash, they should have stood with him and confronted the bigotry that has driven this movement against him. There is a law of diminishing returns and chasing these dollars for so long will invariably have the opposite affect by trying to pander to these “social” sites that are ripe with hatred.

  9. A president who placates white supremacists, and who has fomented racism, bigotry, and hatred since the start of his campaign, and who had the voting support of 60+ million Americans, makes these sorts of non-violent protests necessary. Until the country lives much more closely to its professed ideals, than to its tormented past, Americas should exercise their right to protest.

  10. “Free speech doesn’t apply when your on the clock.”

    I understand this point of view. I’ve expressed it before. However, when a player is “on the clock”, it’s to play/practice the game of football. Standing for the national anthem is a political expression. Sitting is simply declining to participate in a political expression. While I don’t think that a player should be expressing his political views while he is working, I also don’t think a player should be forced to engage in a political demonstration while at work. It really shouldn’t matter if that political demonstration is in line with or against the social mainstream.

  11. On a related topic…why don’t athletes protest the black-on-black crime that ravages all size cities? It’s like they turn a blind eye to that, but law enforcement roughs up someone (lawfully or not), look-out, the White Devil is on the loose. Look at Baltimore, was it last weekend they tried to have a weekend without a homicide? Think about that…that’s an actual goal?? And, they couldn’t even make it through the weekend. What a sad commentary that the bar is set that low, and yet, still was unattainable. Where’s the protests for that?? It just irritates me to no end reading and seeing this type of stuff.

  12. Oh, sheriff Goodell, just suspend the players based upon the Personal Conduct Policy since it’s used so vaguely. In your policy it states: “conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in the National Football League.” I think sitting out the anthem qualifies because it’s detrimental to the NFL, which stands for the justice and liberty for all (although, Tom Brady, Ezekiel Elliott, and Sean Payton, would disagree).

  13. After watching the Lynch interview on HBO’s “Real Sports,” I’m convinced he’s just trolling people who get upset over whether or not a football player stands, sits, or does cart wheels during the national anthem. He’s no doubt laughing his arse off over the attention he’s getting.

    Other than being amused by his treatment of the media during his Seattle days, I didn’t give a hoot about Lynch until seeing the HBO interview. After watching it, I have nothing but appreciation for a guy who is his own man, a guy who pulled himself up from nothing, who taught himself how to win at the game of football as well as the game of capitalism, and who doesn’t give a hoot about what any of the rest of us think. Bravo for his spirit.

  14. So how does the press automatically know that this is some sort of protest when you admit in your own article that Lynch hasn’t even talked to the press yet?

  15. I’m fairly conservative, but I believe you can protest of you want. I just doubt he’s bright to really understand these issues, at any level. I see it as more of a look at me deal, maybe sell more skittles.

  16. cascadeplus says:
    August 13, 2017 at 10:59 am
    There are better ways to get your message across without disrespecting the flag.

    ————-

    I agree with that. It seems like it’s selfish to me. There’s not really any follow up or action to go with it. They could help their cause much more by using their platform to promote positive change.

    That said, it’s his right to sit during the anthem, and it’s your right to believe it’s disrespectful and it’s the teams right to cut him. I think that’s what makes America great. I don’t think people want it to be like the Philippines where a law is being proposed to jail people who don’t sing their anthem with enthusiasm.

  17. As long as Fox and CBS and NBC don’t show it then he can sit. If he wants them to show it, he should work out a fee with them to pay for his on-air BLM commercial. Maybe they can have Home, Away, and Liberal telecasts. Tune in to that one to see the protests!

    ESPN can show it. No one watches them anymore anyway.

    The idea of a free speech guy who refuses to speak pretty much sums up this whole movement.

  18. I still don’t understand why they play the nation anthem at sporting events. It wasn’t played at work or church or at the grocery store.

  19. Last year was the the first year since 1973 that I did not attend a single NFL game; and I had season tickets for a number of years. If it’s not the owners deserting fans and taking their teams elsewhere, it’s the players themselves alienating fans. To hell with you all. I just bought season tickets to the NHL.

  20. If more than one patriotic song (The National Anthem) is performed… I sit down.

    This IS NOT a political rally.

  21. Didn’t Al Davis create the term “pride and poise boys” for his Raiders? Sorry, Al. It has officially been destroyed with the addition of the radical Lynch. But if he is gonna’ be a distraction, I am glad it is with the Raiders.

  22. Did the flag at some point become a symbol ONLY for the military, or is it still a symbol for the entire country? When did it turn into a slap specifically at the military if someone should choose to not stand for the anthem?

    On a related note, how many that are crying about Kaep or Lynch are still flying their confederate flags? I would guess it is many of the same people. They claim they have the right to fly the confederate flag, which was for a group that tried to secede from the US (while not respecting the US flag at the time). How do you reconcile arguing for your right to fly the confederate flag while complaining that others do not have their right to sit or kneel during the anthem?

  23. Would be a good day to release the PSI report from the 2015 NFL season. That would server 3 purposes:

    1. Give people something else to talk about.

    2. Show that “transparency” isn’t just an random buzz word that Roger Goodell likes to use.

    3. Show that Roger Goodell actually cares about integrity and that “integrity” is not just another meaningless buzz word that Roger likes to use.

  24. eagleslakers says:
    August 13, 2017 at 11:06 am
    “Free speech doesn’t apply when your on the clock.”

    I understand this point of view. I’ve expressed it before. However, when a player is “on the clock”, it’s to play/practice the game of football. Standing for the national anthem is a political expression. Sitting is simply declining to participate in a political expression. While I don’t think that a player should be expressing his political views while he is working, I also don’t think a player should be forced to engage in a political demonstration while at work. It really shouldn’t matter if that political demonstration is in line with or against the social mainstream.

    ———————————–

    Standing for the National Anthem is tradition, sitting/kneeling for the National Anthem is political.

  25. The fix is easy and NFL owners, nor coaches have the backbone to do it. Simply explain to their team they have the right to protest, and make a statement so if they don’t want to participate in the pregame activities stay in the locker room until they are completed. It’s as simple as that.

  26. The NFL is hardly worried about the tweets of the Commander in Chief. What they are worried about is those Americans who are patriotic, respect our country, and feel that this is a slap in their face.

    Of course Lynch has the right of free speech. But the hundreds of millions of Americans who feel insulted by him have the right of free speech also – and to boycott the NFL and its sponsors. That is our raised fist in response to Lynch.

  27. Lynch is just pimping his rebellious screw the man and be your own dog brand. You too can be your own nonconformist beast just go buy some of his gear. It’s all about the Benjamins boss.

    #transparent

  28. For a guy who supposedly doesn’t like attention, he sure does a lot of things to get a large amount of national attention with as little effort as possible. This dude is just fake. Sorry that he is a hero to many but outside the sidelines he is nothing resembling a hero. Before you blast me, ask the critical questions and actually analyze what he is doing. ‘Protests’ are by definition designed to make one’s feelings known and to bring light to a situation believed to be unacceptable. He will not talk about why he did it. That is the opposite of what a protest is designed to do. There aren’t many options left. Is he just really lazy/tired? Is trolling many fans purely for his own entertainment or does he actually dislike the country and the people who respect what the flag/anthem stands for? I personally don’t care what he does. His actions only alter my opinion but the media hype/promotion and twisting of facts on any issue remotely political is disturbing and contrary to journalistic ethos.

  29. Instead of complaining about these players and the fact they are quieting protesting, how about the issues they are protesting be addressed ? Hopefully it will open eyes

  30. Yet another reason why I just don’t care that much about the NFL anymore. At the end of the day, this is supposed to be entertainment. Between a lousy product on the field (Browns fan) and a hyper political environment (this crap, the redskin thing, etc) it’s almost become too much work to actually care. Everything doesn’t have to be a protest/statement/cause. We are allowed to actually enjoy ourselves and not feel guilty that a social commentary wasn’t made.

    I’m still screwed either way cause we have a better chance of this protest garbage going away then we do the Browns being entertaining…

  31. Reggie built a young talented team that was working together and concentrating on winning. They seemed to be looking at building on last year and managing the new higher level of expectation that comes with having a winning season for the first time since 2002. Now Lynch has to come out of the gate and create the distraction that puts all of the negative eyes on Oakland. Take your Skittles and go back to retirement.

  32. Why should we expect major fallout from Lynch sitting? Are most fans really too stupid to see it is just more look at me self promotion out of b!tch mode? There’s more marketing than social conscience to this one.

  33. I wanted to draft a fantasy player. Not another activist. It doesn’t raise awareness. It divides
    Lame lame lame.

  34. The doublethink in this thread is overwhelming. It’s scary to realize there are would-be fascist dictators are all around us. It’s not just the politicians (left and right) stripping us of our freedoms, it’s also our friends, family and neighbors.

    Isn’t the whole point of America that we don’t have to stand? That’s the grade-school fairy tale, anyway.

    Land of the free, home of the slave.

  35. charger383 says:
    August 13, 2017 at 11:57 am
    “I have been a Raider fan all my life, until now”
    ——/——/———-/////————————————
    Really “CHARGER383” ? You’ve been a Raider fan all your life?

    Gimme a break.

  36. How many of you geniuses made statements condemning the Nazis marching in Virginia yesterday? Or do you save all your anger for when a black dude sits during the anthem?

  37. niners816 says:
    August 13, 2017 at 10:29 am
    What a shame. I used to like Marshawn, too. But since you’re spitting in the face of my family and many other families who sacrificed for you and your oppressed millions of dollars…you can hit the bricks like Kaep did. Such a waste.
    _———————————-

    Get a grip, Drama King.
    Spitting in the faces of our veterans would be if Americans were not free to express their beliefs.
    You wadded-panty, simpleton, faux-patriots are making fools of yourselves, and cheapening the sacrifices of our vets.

  38. Torn between, who cares if a malcontent doesn’t stand during the NA and knowing that millions of patriots have either died or come home with physical/mental wounds defending the flag. Maybe he should protest by not taking any of the $9 million contract he just signed. Now that would be a media worthy protest. Simply being an agitator who refuses to stand on his fee and show respect is so yesterday’s news.

  39. Pretty simple, if the NFL doesn’t do anything, I just won’t watch like last year. No sense arguing.

  40. I never would have guessed men and women who served in the military were SO sensitive. I was taught that all speech was important to protect, even that which you disagree with.

  41. I love reading all these weak-minded peoples take on this. You all are SO sensitive when it comes to things you either don’t care to understand or, more likely, don’t understand. Sorry Lynch isn’t being PC enough for you, but I thought that’s what you guys loved right? He’s shoving PC right in the face, why aren’t you celebrating him?

    Oh, it’s because you’re confused hypocrites. Got it.

  42. So many dumb fans. I suppose fans do not realize that players never stod for the anthem prior to 2009. Yes, that means Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Terry Bradshaw, etc. never stood.

    The owners started to receive taxpayer money from the DOD in 2011 in the form of several million dollars to have players stand. Is it a wonder that they would want the players to continue to stand?

    So now Marshawn and some others do not stand. Who cares? Why do they need to play the anthem before every contest anyway?

    Too many people faking their patriotism by being outraged over something that started in 2009.

  43. crossdamon says:

    A president who placates white supremacists
    ===============================================

    Because he doesn’t want people sneaking into our country illegally and doesn’t want terrorist to move here? BLM is a hate group, they have even kept white people out of their meetings, and they stood next to Obama.

  44. meetadam says:
    August 13, 2017 at 12:51 pm
    I love reading all these weak-minded peoples take on this. You all are SO sensitive when it comes to things you either don’t care to understand or, more likely, don’t understand. Sorry Lynch isn’t being PC enough for you, but I thought that’s what you guys loved right? He’s shoving PC right in the face, why aren’t you celebrating him?
    =======================================================

    Lynch isn’t being PC? He is being PC. It is now PC to bash the USA. If you love the USA you’re called a racist.

  45. pacificdan says:

    I never would have guessed men and women who served in the military were SO sensitive. I was taught that all speech was important to protect, even that which you disagree with.
    ================================================================

    Not a single person has said Lynch should not be allowed to do what he’s doing. Reading comprehension, my man. Work on it.

  46. tooz56 says:

    Instead of complaining about these players and the fact they are quieting protesting, how about the issues they are protesting be addressed ?
    ==================================================

    Lynch hasn’t said what issues he’s protesting for. He apparently just doesn’t like this country, who knows.

  47. Good for you, Marshawn. Forget these fake “Americans” and their fake outrage. Everyone knows what they are really thinking. It’s not about the anthem or the flag and never has been.

  48. charger383 says:
    August 13, 2017 at 11:57 am
    “I have been a Raider fan all my life, until now”
    ——/——/———-/////————————————
    Really “CHARGER383” ? You’ve been a Raider fan all your life?

    Gimme a break.

    CHARGER 383 comes from a DODGE car,

  49. We’re just glad here that the Raiders are moving to Vegas. We have enough rich people driving carelessly drunk around LA. Didn’t need him added back into the mix.

  50. braddavery says:
    “It’s not about the anthem or the flag and never has been”, well then know it all, look into your crystal ball and tell us what it truly is all about.

  51. braddavery says:
    “It’s not about the anthem or the flag and never has been”, well then know it all, look into your crystal ball and tell us what it truly is all about!

  52. niners816 says:
    August 13, 2017 at 10:29 am
    What a shame. I used to like Marshawn, too. But since you’re spitting in the face of my family and many other families who sacrificed for you and your oppressed millions of dollars…you can hit the bricks like Kaep did. Such a waste.


    The ignorance of the average American and the average poster never continues to confound me. As one who served, and fought, I am proud to say that he isn’t spitting in the face of what I did. He is honoring what I fought for which is the right to protest even if I do not agree with it. That is an American right, and it is an American right I fought for. Don’t have to like it. Like the right.

    Oh and I don’t feel spit on my face. I feel honored that I served and did the right thing so he and everyone else can to.

  53. How is kneeling any more disrespectful then the person(s) at the stadium who sit, talk, don’t face the flag, go to the bathroom/concession stand or talk.

  54. Skittles tastes like poo. Why should one who eats that stuff act better than a dog pile?

    Send this clown packing – it is time that those who squat for the causes that they do are unemployed and should stay that way in the NFL. Let that jerk squat at a French Fry station at McDonald’s.

  55. There is no such thing as free speech while you are on your employer’s clock.

    There is no reason for those in the military defend that which has no defense in the first place.

  56. When you disrespect the flag, you are disrepecting everything about our country, not just police/black injustice. The United States made Lynch rich beyond his wildest dreams. If he doesnt like it here, he can leave. Of course he could kill someone and Raider fans would still annoint him as a saint. Sad, sad, sad. Glad he’s not on my team.

  57. Purplepyramidascension-

    If you’re not black and do not experience the fear of being killed at any moment by police, I hope at least you have the compassion to empathize with those who don’t share your privilege.

    —–

    The Washington Post has been keeping a running database of Police shootings since January 1, 2015. It is a great place to go to get the facts. Just Google Washington Post Fatal Police shootings database. You can download the file in csv format and use spreadsheets like Microsoft Office or Apple Numbers or even relational databases like File Maker Pro to sort and query the data.

    From Jan 1, 2015 to June 16, 2017:

    Whites Killed: 1,139
    Blacks Killed: 593
    Hispanices Killed: 401
    Asians Killed: 37

    In a country of 300 million people who are armed to the teeth, it is slightly less than amazing that the numbers are so low, if you want my opinion. Yet wouldn’t it be nice if the numbers could be reduced? I bet the police also would love to get the numbers down, for all races.

    The huge majority of police men and women in this country are heroes. Everyday. And I thank God we have such professional police forces in this country.

    Now if watching football this Fall means I have to deal with Lynch, Kaepernick and their ilk, I’ll have no problem dropping the NFL games from my schedule. And if a Patriot even thinks about doing this sort of crap, l’ll drop the Patriots too.

  58. Been serving for 14 years and counting.
    I wont sit, but you are more than welcome to. That’s what makes our nation great. The day we are forced to stand is the day we have become the very thing we have been fighting for hundreds of years. Anyone who thinks otherwise is blinded by their own ideals.

  59. It won’t have the impact of Kap, the things kap said it was made it worse. Lynch is doing more from being fat and lazy and you really can’t understand what he says anyway. He should take lessons to learn how to speak better.

  60. imaduffer says:
    August 13, 2017 at 11:23 am
    I still don’t understand why they play the nation anthem at sporting events. It wasn’t played at work or church or at the grocery store.
    ———————————-
    My understanding (based on a little research and a lot of talking to octogenerians) is that playing the National Anthem did not become standard practice at baseball games until 1942, just after the US entered World War II.

  61. What a shame. I used to like Marshawn, too. But since you’re spitting in the face of my family and many other families who sacrificed for you and your oppressed millions of dollars…you can hit the bricks like Kaep did. Such a waste.
    —————————————————————–
    I am a honorably discharges veteran who has no problem with him so having “sacrificed” has nothing to do with it! You have another issue. The NFL is not a minstrel show for you to get your kicks every weekend!

  62. “There is no such thing as free speech while you are on your employer’s clock.”

    The people lecturing Lynch apparently have no understanding about the First Amendment.

  63. “Lynch isn’t being PC? He is being PC. It is now PC to bash the USA. If you love the USA you’re called a racist.”
    ————————————————————————————————————————————
    And to think these are the people claiming Lynch isn’t smart enough to understanding what he is kneeling about.

  64. It wouldn’t surprise me that some of the people who are so triggered with Lynch and Kaep kneeling during the anthem are some of the same people who will gladly walk around with their Confederate flags and other paraphernalia.

  65. Half of these comments condemning Kap, Lynch, and Bennett are the same types of people who will allow the American flag to be flown alongside a Nazi flag. Shameful how you missed the point. Many of the black men and women your parents and grand parents served with were cast off when they came home and not given the rights they deserved at the VA, with re-entering the work force, where was your disdain then? I see veterans, white and black, get passed over for jobs in corporate, where is your disdain for these animal corporate leaders? You guys scare me and I’m worried about our future.

  66. Marshawn Lynch has always been a punk, we have known that since his days in Buffalo.
    ======

    I know nothing of the sort.

    He was universally beloved in Seattle.

  67. aarons444 says:
    August 14, 2017 at 11:41 am
    Marshawn Lynch has always been a punk, we have known that since his days in Buffalo.
    ======

    I know nothing of the sort.

    He was universally beloved in Seattle.
    ~~~~~~~~~~
    Then you simply ignored it all because he produced in Seattle. Nothing wrong with liking one of your guys but to pretend he hasn’t had issues since coming into the league is denying reality.

  68. it’s still real simple. Unlike Kaperneck, Lynch has enough potential value that the raiders will probably put up with any flack.

    I was drafted during Vietnam war, did my 2 yrs, and think everyone should show respect and unity by standing for the anthem despite our differences. But if an athlete refuses, that’s what makes this country different from the one they’d be stuck in if their ancestors hadn’t made the trip. I think they’re misguided, but it’s their right to be.

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