Derek Carr Says Hand on Khalil Mack’s Shoulder During Anthem Wasn’t A Protest

Houston Texans v Oakland Raiders

For the second straight preseason game, Marshawn Lynch was spotted seated during the national anthem. But his actions were largely overshadowed by those of Raiders QB Derek Carr, who had his hand on the shoulder of teammate Khalil Mack.


Following the game, Carr wanted to make it crystal clear that it was not a form of protest of any kind. However, the gesture was still meant to send a message, which he later explained:

“We wanted to show them that it’s OK for a white kid and a black kid that come from two different neighborhoods [to] grow up and love one another and be best friends,” Carr said, via Paul Gutierrez of “And that’s what me and Khalil are — we’re best friends and we love one another.”

“[W]e see what’s going on in the world and, obviously, everyone pays attention to the national anthem nowadays, and so we just said this was the best time to do it while still honoring our country,” Carr said. “Because I love this country, more than anything. We’re free to live here and play this game, but we’re also free to show each other that we love one another. And I think that that’s the message, and that’s the only message we were trying to get out.”

Mack echoed those sentiments.

“To show [that] different races can get along, white, black, whatever you are, get along and be friends and . . . just show unity,” Mack said, per Gutierrez. “Show togetherness. It’s discussed a lot. It’s one of the things I feel passionately about, but I just don’t like the attention, the attention that comes with it. But at the same time, just using my platform for positivity is what’s important for me.”

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