Marshawn Lynch Makes A Profound Statement in Support of Colin Kaepernick (Video)

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“I’d rather see him take a knee than stand up with his hands up and get murdered.”

With just those few words, spoken on last night’s (September 19) episode of “Conan,” Marshawn Lynch made a powerful statement in support of his NFL brethren Colin Kaepernick and other players who have chosen to make political statements during the national anthem in the opening ceremonies of football games across the country. Those athletes and others have launched a political movement in which police brutality and other racially unjust vestiges of American society are protested, actions which have ignited a firestorm of controversy and reignited tensions in a country struggling to effectively address issues of racism.

With those same words, Lynch may have also been commenting on the death of Terence Crutcher, a Black man in Tulsa, Oklahoma who was shot dead by police despite having both of his hands raised in the air and being unarmed. In so doing, Lynch briefly and profoundly reflected on the political climate in the United States as it pertains to race and the continuous murders of unarmed, innocent people of color in this country. In just a few seconds, Marshawn Lynch proved that sometimes the biggest statements can be made with the fewest words.

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In the interview segment that is only one minute long, host Conan O’Brien asked the retired NFL running back for his thoughts on Kaepernick’s gesture of political protest and although Lynch was subdued in his speaking, his words and actions were no less potent. “I’d rather see him take a knee than stand up,” he says before literally standing up and raising his hands in the air and continuing his statement. “I’d rather see him take a knee than stand up with his hands up and get murdered,” he says. “My take on it is shit gotta start somewhere, and if [Kaepernick taking a knee] was the starting point, I just hope people open up their eyes to see that there’s really a problem going on and something needs to be done for it to stop.” In closing, Lynch comments on Kaepernick’s critics, suggest that they are basing their criticisms from a place of discriminatory thinking. “If you really not racist,” he argues, “then you won’t see what he’s doing as a threat to America, but just addressing a problem that we have.

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Lynch, lovingly known as Beast Mode for his superhuman abilities on the field, is also well known for his reticence in speaking with the media, particularly during his athletic career. However, those familiar with his work outside of sports will likely not be surprised by the statement he made last night. The Oakland, California native is the Vice President of the Fam 1st Foundation, a nonprofit “dedicated to uplifting and empowering youth in the Bay Area and throughout the United States.”

In July of 2016, Lynch and Fam 1st’s president (and NFL quarterback) Josh Johnson took to social media to launch a fundraising campaign for their organization, and Beast Mode was and continues to be vocal in its operation. “We need the community to come together, and we need the community to invest in the community.”

Find Amanda Mester on Twitter.