"Didn't they say elephants are scared of mouses or something?"
Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch was one of a handful of NFL players that chose not to stand for the national anthem prior to the first week of the preseason, and it's something he'll continue to do.
Prior to the Raiders preseason opener against the Arizona Cardinals, Marshawn was shown sitting alone on the bench while his teammates stood on the sideline.
Meeting with the media today, a reporter asked Lynch, who did not play in the first preseason game, about "the elephant in the room" - his decision to sit during the anthem.
"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."
Following the Raiders's first preseason game, head coach Jack Del Rio told reporters that he and Marshawn talked about his decision to sit during the anthem and said it's a total non-issue for him and won't be a distraction for the team.
"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."
While Lynch has been sitting for the anthem for his entire career, other NFL players, like his former teammate, Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett, are choosing not to stand as a way to raise awareness to racism and intolerance, similar to the way Colin Kaepernick did last season. Bennett has said that he intends to sit for the national anthem throughout the season.
Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins has also decided that he'll be raising his fist in the air during the national anthem throughout the season, as a form of protest.
Check out the video footage of Marshawn's comments below, as well as some additional exchanges he had with the media today.
Marshawn Lynch with a funny sidestep after being asked about the anthem. pic.twitter.com/wC6yNV8gHd— Jordan Heck (@JordanHeckFF) August 17, 2017