"But I respect you as a man and you can do your thing".
Why Lynch chose to sit hasn't yet been revealed, but it comes almost one year after Colin Kaepernick began a protest of the oppression of people of color by sitting and kneeling during the playing of the national anthem during the 2016 season.
After deciding to return to football during the offseason, Lynch was traded to the Oakland Raiders for a swap of late-round selections between the Raiders and Seattle Seahawks. Lynch is on a two-year, $9 million contract with the Oakland Raiders.
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"[Lynch] 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 talked to Marshawn to make sure we're on the same page", Del Rio said after a 20-10 loss to the Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Raiders quarterback E.J. Manuel said Lynch's decision was "more of a personal thing" for him but said the team supports him. For the offense, that meant playing only one drive.
NO CARR: Carr had been expected to see his first action since breaking his right leg in a game last Christmas Eve, but Del Rio chose to have his starter sit out the opener.
"With what's going on, I'd rather see him take a knee than stand up, put his hands up and get murdered", Lynch told ESPN previous year.