A pair of NFL stars sat out the national anthem at NFL preseason games this weekend.

First up was running back Marshawn Lynch who joined the Raiders during the offseason:

Are NFL players trying to turn off viewers?

Lynch’s coach, Jack Del Rio, had this to say, via USA Today:

“He said, ‘This is something I’ve done for 11 years — it’s not a form of anything other than me being myself,’ ” Del Rio said in a postgame news conference. “I said, ‘So you understand how I feel, I very strongly believe in standing for the national anthem, but I’m gonna respect you as a man. You do your thing, OK, and we’ll do ours.’”

Lynch has done this for some time, however. From NFL.com:

NFL Network’s Michael Robinson, who was Lynch’s teammate in Seattle for close to four years, did not interpret Lynch’s sitting as a form of protest, explaining to NFL.com that Lynch has rarely stood for the national anthem during his career.

The second player to sit it out was Seattle Seahawks’ defensive end Michael Bennett:

From the Seattle Times:

Bennett has also shown consistent support for former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who sat and then kneeled during the anthem throughout last season.

Bennett recently said “of course he’s being blackballed” in regards to the fact that Kaepernick has not signed with an NFL team.

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