Raiders RB Marshawn Lynch sits during national anthem

Michael Bennett #72 of the Seattle Seahawks

Michael Bennett #72 of the Seattle Seahawks

Lynch's apparent protest comes in wake of this weekend's violent white nationalist rallies in Charlottesville, Va. and falls in line with what Colin Kaepernick started around the National Football League last season as players found ways to protest racism and police brutality during the playing of the anthem before games.

Before Lynch and the Raiders faced the Arizona Cardinals in preseason action on Saturday night, Lynch took a seat for the national anthem.

Photos show Lynch, who suited up but did not play, sitting on a cooler while holding a banana during the anthem.

"I'd rather see him take a knee than stand up, put his hands up and get murdered", Lynch said.

Lynch has talked to the media once since he came out of retirement and was acquired in a trade with the Seattle Seahawks last spring, and that was in the offseason program.

Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said he considered it a "non-issue" and told reporters he was unaware Lynch was going to sit. "And I mean, if you're really not racist, then you're going to see what he's done, what he's doing, [not] as a threat to America, but just addressing a problem that we have".

Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers after the season, but hasn't yet been signed by another team.

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