49ers general manager John Lynch says national anthem protests are 'divisive'
San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch says that while he respects the decision of NFL players that refuse to stand for the national anthem, he thinks the practice also causes possible disagreement between players.
Lynch was asked about the protests, days after Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett and Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch did not stand for the anthem during their team's preseason games last week.
"And I think this game brings people together. So I think personally when I see that, I think that's divisive," Lynch said. "And I understand guys see things and they're not happy. They have that right. And I think we'll always respect people's rights. That doesn't mean I believe that. I believe this game should be celebrated for what it is. I think [it's] a tremendous unifier for our country and for the way things should be."
Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick gained national attention last season when he decided to take a knee during the anthem, citing racial injustice in America. He continued to do so all season.
He has yet to sign with an NFL team this offseason.
Lynch said he will talk to any 49er player who decides to protest.
"I think we'll always communicate," Lynch said. "We think overcommunicating is a good thing. We haven't faced that situation. If we do, we'll communicate."