Raider Nation has been anxiously waiting for Lynch to speak since his arrival; he didn’t disappoint
Speaking to the media for the first time since coming out of retirement to play for his hometown Oakland Raiders, running back Marshawn Lynch wasted no time explaining his reason for returning to the gridiron.
Throughout his professional career, the Oakland native has actively been a community ambassador in his hometown’s inner-cities, per SB Nation.
The former Seattle Seahawks’ running back, who retired after the 2015 season, made it clear that he wants to give the fans of Oakland something to cherish before the Silver and Black jump ship to Las Vegas in 2020.
“It’s always been something, being from Oakland, that you want to play at home, and have that opportunity,” Lynch said after Tuesday’s OTA practice, per the Raiders website. “And I mean, them staying, probably wouldn’t have been so big for me to want to come and play, but knowing that they was leaving, and a lot of the kids here probably won’t have an opportunity to see most of their idols growing up, being in their hometown no more, with me being from here, continuing to be here, it gives them an opportunity that they get to see somebody that actually did it from where they’re from, and for the team that they probably idolized.”
Lynch made a name for himself as a four-sport star athlete at Oakland Technical High and during his collegiate days at Cal. Although he was a first-round draft pick by the Buffalo Bills in the 2007 draft, the 31-year-old running back has been a consistent role model in the Oakland community.
On the outside, Lynch’s decision to put on the pads for the Silver and Black might appear as an opportunistic move.
The Silver and Black have one of the top offenses in the league led by franchise quarterback Derek Carr who is coming off a broken right fibula that he suffered in Week 16 against the Indianapolis Colts. At the receiver position, the Raiders have a solid core featuring the explosive Amari Cooper, veteran Michael Crabtree and they added tight end Jared Cook in the offseason. The team also has one of the best offensive lines in the league, featuring three Pro Bowlers, including All-Pro left guard Kelechi Osemele. They also bring back the reigning AFC Defensive Player of the Year, Khalil Mack.
Despite the loaded roster the Silver and Black are bringing back, Lynch insists that his decision to come out of retirement is more about giving back and representing his city than it is about winning.
“I got the whole town, you feel me, though, riding with me,” Lynch said. “So that’s good what they’ve got going on, all that good s— you just said, but I’ve got all Oakland behind me, though. The way we feel just about where we’re from and why we represent where we’re from so hard is because we know what the struggle is and how we get down. So every home game that I get to come to this m—–f—–, I’m probably going to be riding with the whole town.
“It ain’t like I’m saying, ‘I’m coming to y’all’s city and I’m going to ride with y’all.’ This is actually, I’m born and raised, bred, pissing in them hallways and running down them alleyways, I really did that right here. And now I get an opportunity to play here.”
It’s clear that Lynch is motivated by the opportunity to not only play for his hometown but possibly deliver something special; what we know for sure is that he’ll have a blast while doing it.