Earlier on Monday, Trump had tweeted out his disdain for the “great disrespect” he said Lynch displayed the previous day before a game against the Patriots. As he has done before every Raiders game this season, Lynch sat down instead of standing for the national anthem, but with Oakland playing in Mexico on Sunday, he stood for that country’s anthem.
“Next time NFL should suspend him for remainder of season,” said Trump, who has frequently used Twitter to criticize NFL player protests. “Attendance and ratings way down.”
The president attacked her son. So Marshawn Lynch’s mother fired back.
Several hours later, Del Rio tweeted out photos of charitable efforts undertaken in Mexico City by the Jack Del Rio Foundation, and she added this caption: “President Trump, I voted for you, which I now regret. Football is a powerful platform — here’s charitable work we did in Mexico City #NFLProud.”
A couple of minutes later, she replied directly to Trump’s tweet, saying, “Take more time being president of the United States and less time trying to shame.” Del Rio’s tweets subsequently became unavailable, but images of them were captured and shared online.
At the start of his weekly news conference Monday, Jack Del Rio, whose team lost Sunday to New England, said with a smile, “Recap the game, talk about my wife’s tweet — whatever it is you guys want to talk about.”
Del Rio told reporters that he thought his wife was “offended” because “I think she thinks there are so many things that go on that are good about the league, and she would like to see that get more attention.” He added, “I think that’s really what she was saying, but I can’t speak for her.”
“My stance on the whole thing with Marshawn is, and all of our players, I’ve told them how I feel. I love this country. I think it’s a great honor to be able to play football, coach football for a living,” Del Rio said. “And so, my thought is, that everybody should pay respect to the flag and stand at attention, and that’s how I feel about it.
“But it is America, and everybody can make their choice. And I’ve made that clear, too.”
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Asked about Trump’s suggestion that Lynch be suspended the next time he refuses to stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner,” Del Rio said, “I’m not going to get into all that. That’s not for me.”
After Lynch, who is in his first season with the Raiders, sat on a cooler on the sideline during the national anthem before Oakland’s first preseason game in August, Del Rio said that the running back told him (via USA Today), “This is something I’ve done for 11 years — it’s not a form of anything other than me being myself.” The coach said that he replied, “So you understand how I feel, I very strongly believe in standing for the national anthem, but I’m going to respect you as a man. You do your thing, okay, and we’ll do ours.”
Monday also saw Lynch’s mother taking issue with Trump’s criticism. “What NFL team do Trump own?” Delisa Lynch said in reply to a tweet about the president’s comments. “Oh yeah they wouldn’t let him have one!”
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