Arizona sports talk Monday featured two topics: Opposing fans invading Chase Field and Marshawn Lynch.
During Saturday night’s Cardinals preseason game versus Oakland, Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch appeared to stage a silent protest by sitting during the national anthem.
“I've been doing this for 11 years,” that's what he told his head coach Jack Del Rio after the game.
A quick VERIFY search shows Lynch did stand for the National Anthem while playing for the Seattle Seahawks.
There’s a picture of him going around on Twitter, then there’s video from a Seahawks vs. Ravens game. So his comments are false.
12 Sports talked to a former teammate of his, and he tells us sometimes Lynch stood, sometimes he would sit, sometimes he'd be in the locker room for the anthem.
This could just be Marshawn being Marshawn.
Right on cue, guess who was in town on Monday. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell met with Cardinals fans out in Glendale. Of course --- the topic of players sitting during the National Anthem came up.
"It's one of those things where we have to understand that there are people who have different viewpoints," Goodell said. "It's something that I think everybody wants. The national anthem is a special moment for me. It's a point of pride. That is a really important moment but we also have to understand the other side -- that people do have rights, and we want to respect those. Protest to progress is what I call it. We all have to recognize that people want to see change. Let's go out and try to make that happen in a peaceful and an important way."
But are players protesting during the national anthem really making a difference?
No, because the conversation ends there.
Michael Bennett of the Seahawks sat on the bench with a towel over his head during the anthem Sunday night. Just like with lynch, headlines popped up quickly --- “Players Sits During National Anthem… Again...”
But unlike Lynch, Bennett had an explanation.
“I just want to see people have the equality that they deserve and I want to be able to use this platform to continuously push the message and keep finding out how unselfish we can be in society, how we can continuously love one another and understand that people are different.” Bennett said.
That's 10 seconds of a 3 minute, well-though-out, well-explained answer from Bennett.
While I don't agree with sitting for the national anthem, I do agree with his message. I do agree with the conversation he wants us to have in this country.
Bennett added, "I just want people to understand that no matter what, we need to stay together. It’s more about being a human being at this point."
Did you listen to the whole thing?
Probably not… Because it gets lost in the first headline ---“Players Sits During National Anthem… Again...”
Half of the people stop caring right there.
You want to start a conversation -- go straight to your platform. Bennett has more than 400-thousand followers.
Take out the first headline -- and just start the talking. If a video about a talking cat on YouTube can have 1.3 million views -- imagine what a video about a real topic can do.
Those are my comments. Let me hear yours on Twitter @camcox12.
But before you take to social media, here’s an example of what not to do.
Former Coyotes legend Jeremy Roenick tweeted a picture of a headline from the lockerdome.com.
It uses an attributed quote from Steelers Linebacker James Harrison saying, “anyone on my team sits for the anthem... they better be in a wheelchair.”
Roenick's tweet caption said, “Now that's a man I want on my team. Too bad we have to sit around and watch disrespectful athletes sit on coolers. Disgraceful.”
A quick VERIFY search shows Harrison never said those comments and the article has since been deleted.