ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Oakland Raiders coach Jack Del Rio deflected questions Monday about President Donald Trump tweeting earlier in the day that running back Marshawn Lynch should be suspended.
Trump's issue was with Lynch sitting during the U.S. national anthem but standing during the Mexican anthem prior to the Raiders' 33-8 loss to the New England Patriots at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.
Marshawn Lynch of the NFL's Oakland Raiders stands for the Mexican Anthem and sits down to boos for our National Anthem. Great disrespect! Next time NFL should suspend him for remainder of season. Attendance and ratings way down.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 20, 2017
"I'm not going to get into all that. That's not for me," said Del Rio, who during the offseason retweeted conservative commentator Sean Hannity on the Seth Rich murder conspiracy and pondered if we could ask "legitimate" questions as citizens.
Del Rio said he was not aware of the Trump tweet until five minutes before his 3 p.m. PT news conference.
"Bottom line is I'm here to coach the football team. That's my job, that's my role and that's what I'm going to do."
But Del Rio's wife, Linda, earlier in the day tweeted at Trump, telling him she now regretted voting for him. Her tweet was later deleted.
Linda Del Rio, the wife of Raiders coach Jack Del Rio, weighs in on Donald Trump Tweeting that Marshawn Lynch should be suspended for sitting during the United States' national anthem but standing during the Mexican anthem on... https://t.co/rvj1UzKRaA pic.twitter.com/DsjgZotooS— Paul Gutierrez (@PGutierrezESPN) November 20, 2017
"I'm aware of a tweet and then my wife being offended because I think she thinks there are so many things that go on that are good about the league and would like to see that get more attention," Del Rio said. "I think that's what she was saying, but I can't speak for her."
Del Rio also reiterated his stance that he would prefer his players stand for "The Star-Spangled Banner" before games.
"I've told them how I feel," Del Rio said. "I love this country. I think it's a great honor to be able to play football, coach football for a living, 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. So, anyways, that's that."
Lynch, who wore an "Everybody vs. Trump" T-shirt at Denver on Oct. 1, has not said why he sits during the anthem, nor has he replied to Trump on social media.
Raiders owner Mark Davis, though, told ESPN.com in September that while he preferred his players stand, he understood why they might protest, and there should be no punishment forthcoming.
"About a year ago, before our Tennessee game, I met with Derek Carr and Khalil Mack to ask their permission to have Tommie Smith light the torch for my father before the game in Mexico City," Davis said at the time, after Trump had said players kneeling or sitting during the anthem should be fired.
"I explained to them that I was asking their permission because I had previously told them that I would prefer that they not protest while in the Raiders uniform," Davis continued. "And should they have something to say, once their uniform was off, I might go up there with them. Over the last year, though, the streets have gotten hot and there has been a lot of static in the air and recently fuel has been added to the fire. I can no longer ask our team to not say something while they are in a Raider uniform. The only thing I can ask them to do is do it with class. Do it with pride. Not only do we have to tell people there is something wrong, we have to come up with answers. That's the challenge in front of us as Americans and human beings."