Former Raiders’ legendary wide receiver Tim Brown asked the question everyone is asking regarding NFL players kneeling and sitting for the national anthem: “Why bring negativity to this incredible, positive situation?”
Brown is an icon for the Raiders’ NFL franchise, making its home Las Vegas for the first time this year, so TMZ Sports asked him about the team’s new signing, well-known running back Marshawn Lynch, who sat out on the national anthem during the team’s first preseason game. Brown is no stranger to the struggles of African Americans in the United States but feels the football field is the wrong stage to make a political statement.
“Why man? Why bring this to yourself? He has the perfect thing going on in Oakland. Why bring negativity to this incredible, positive situation? … I just don’t get it,” Brown said. “I understand these guys, man. They’re trying to make statements and they’re trying to be a part of this world but football is where people go to get away from that stuff.”
Both Lynch and Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett rejected standing for the national anthem during this week’s preseason games, following the mayhem resulting from protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, this past weekend. Following in the footsteps of former quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Bennett gave an impassioned defense of his protest:
“I want to be able to use this platform to continuously push the message … of how unselfish you can be as a society,” Bennett said after the Seahawks’ 48-17 win. “How we can continuously love one another and understand that people are different; and just because they’re different, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t like them. Because they don’t smell the way you smell and they don’t eat what you eat, because they don’t pray to the same god that you pray to, doesn’t mean that you should hate them. Whether it’s Muslim or Buddhists or Christianity, whatever it is, I just want people to understand that no matter what, we’re in this thing together. It’s more about being a human being at this point.”
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