Former Cal star Marshawn Lynch has always shown pride for his hometown of Oakland, and he demonstrated his support for the city again recently by joining the ownership group of the Oakland Roots of the United Soccer League (USL) Championship.
"Growing up in The Town, we always could count on the pro teams in this area but with most of those ones that I grew up with gone, I knew the minute I heard about the opportunity to join Oakland Roots, it wasn't just something I wanted to do, it was something I had to do," Lynch said in a statement.
The Raiders were in Oakland for 47 years over two stints before moving to Las Vegas in 2020, and the Golden State Warriors played their home games in Oakland from 1971 to 2019 before moving to San Francisco following the 2019 season.
As those in the San Francisco Bay Area know “The Town” is the name proud locals have for the City of Oakland, differentiating it from San Francisco, which is known as “The City.”
Like the soccer team name, Lynch has Oakland roots. Before coming to Cal in 2006, Lynch graduated from Oakland Tech, where he participated in basketball, wrestling and track as well as football.
USL Championship involves 31 teams and begins play on April 24.
The Oakland Roots play their first game on May 8 against Phoenix Rising FC. Oakland’s first home game is scheduled for June 19 against Sacramento Republic FC. The Roots will play their home games at Laney College Field in Oakland.
"From the start, we have tried to build an ownership group that was excited about more than just pro sports, but also about Oakland and our Purpose," Roots co-founder and CMO Edreece Arghandiwal said in a statement. "We couldn't be more proud to welcome someone who has long been an inspiration to Oaklanders and all of us at Roots."
The Roots were founded in 2018 and played their first two seasons in the National Independent Soccer Association.
In September, they announced they would join the USL Championship in the second tier.
Lynch played for Cal from 2006 through 2008, and rushed for 1,371 yards in 2017 and 1,684 in 2008. He also caught 68 passes for 600 yards during his Cal career.
He then played 15 NFL seasons and rushed for 10,413 yards in his career. Lynch played in one game in 2019 for the Seattle Seahawks, rushing 12 times for 34 yards.
Cover photo of Marshawn Lynch when he was a member of the Oakland Raiders is by Isaiah J. Downing, USA TODAY Sports
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