Police shootings in Oklahoma and North Carolina and the national-anthem protest of Colin Kaepernick prompted several present-day and former athletes to speak up Tuesday, including one former NFL player who famously kept his answers short.
Marshawn Lynch, the former Seattle Seahawks running back known for one-word answers and incurring fines for avoiding the media, shared his feelings, as did Hall of Famer Jerry Rice, Dwyane Wade of the Chicago Bulls and Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards. Earlier in the day, Kaepernick told reporters he has received death threats for his national anthem protest.
“With what’s going on, I’d rather see him take a knee than stand up, put his hands up and get murdered,” Lynch said on “Conan” as he stood up, raising his hands. “My take on it is: [expletive], they got to start somewhere.”
Several current NFL players have joined Kaepernick in taking a knee and Malcolm Jenkins, Steven Means and Ron Brooks of the Philadelphia Eagles raised their fists in solidarity with Kaepernick’s protest. Lynch’s comments came amid violence in North Carolina over the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott. On Friday night, Terence Crutcher, an unarmed black man, was shot to death by police in Tulsa.
“I just hope people open up their eyes and see that there’s really a problem going on and something needs to be done for it to stop,” Lynch said.
In an Instagram post, Wade used #TERENCECRUTCHER and wrote: “We must come together MORE! We must show our strength as a Black Community MORE! Or we will continue to wake up to stories of US being shot down like WE don’t matter. We must show that we matter to each other MORE! We must all do MORE! #TERENCECRUTCHER #WEAREMORE’
Rice, a Hall of Famer most notably with the San Francisco 49ers, voiced his support for Kaepernick, who is a backup for the Niners now.
In August, Rice had a different take on the matter and he didn’t explain why his stance has changed.
Tuesday night, Rajon Rondon asked on Instagram “how does an unarmed black man whose car is stalled and needs help get shot and killed by police officers, while the NY and NJ bombing suspect gets apprehended and is alive? I guess being black is worse than being a terrorist. Even with your hands up, no gun, and in need of HELP, being black is still a crime. My sincerest condolences to Terence Crutcher’s family.”
Beal shared a quote from the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, as he asked “Where is the JUSTICE?” on Instagram.