Kennedy speculates ‘unnecessary distraction’ of anthem protests torpedoed Raiders

Silver and black sideline reporter delves into downfall of his former team

Karl Buscheck
December 28, 2017 - 3:19 pm

With one game remaining on the schedule for the 6-9 Raiders, Lincoln Kennedy, the sideline reporter on the club’s radio broadcast, joined “The Greg Papa Show” with Bonta Hill to discuss the unraveling of the team.

Asked for the single biggest factor in the downfall, Kennedy pointed to the national anthem protests the proliferated around the league.

“If there was one thing that I think had some underlying effects but I don’t know how — it’s just a feeling, it’s just a gut-wrench feeling — the whole anthem controversy, I think, affected (the team) mentally,” Kennedy said.

“I think it affected people. And in a sense that, not so much that you heard the rumors about, ‘Well, we’re not doing this because he’s not with us,” Kennedy said, alluding to Week 3 when Derek Carr was among the Raiders who chose not to kneel along with the majority of his teammates.

“It was an unnecessary distraction that warranted so much coverage and so many questions (that) you couldn’t necessarily focus on football.”

Everyone wanted to know why Marshawn Lynch was sitting down. Everybody wanted to know is or protesting or what is he protesting? Everybody wanted to know how unanimously the team was going to protest. How they’re going to stand together.”

“Look, if I was in that locker room I’d be the first one to say, ‘I’m not here to talk about that. I’m here to talk about football — the Kansas City Chiefs, the Denver Broncos. Give me a football-related question. Don’t ask me about the anthem or social consciousness.’”

“And I think that was something that wore not just on the Raiders but a number of teams.”

Jump to the 21:25 mark in the podcast below to hear the full interview with Kennedy:

Greg Papa Show Hour 2

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