Chargers coach Lynn ‘pissed off,’ wants change

Field Level Media

June 02, 2020 at 11:00 pm.

As protests continue across the country more than a week after the death of George Floyd, Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn opened up about his mounting frustration in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.

“I’m angry, I’m pissed off and I don’t want to just put out a pretty statement,” Lynn told the Times in a story published Tuesday morning.

Police officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, was arrested and charged with third-degree murder after pressing his knee on the neck of Floyd, an African American, for more than eight minutes on May 25. Chauvin was also charged with second-degree manslaughter. Since Floyd’s death, protests have emerged in dozens of cities across the nation.

Lynn, 51, is one of three African American head coaches in the NFL. He said he has seen other African American coaches, both in the NFL and other sports, putting out statements in recent days, but added he wants to do more.

“I’ve read some good statements,” Lynn said. “I read Brian Flores from the Dolphins, and I agree 100 percent with him. I read (Los Angeles Clippers coach) Doc Rivers’ statement, and those guys spoke from the heart. I think statements are needed to bring awareness to the situation.

“But I want to do something, too. I don’t want to just put (a statement) out there because it’s the right thing to do. I want change.”

Saying he was tired of simply watching news coverage, Lynn said he joined a protest himself.

“I felt like a spectator. So I went out and joined the protesters in Huntington Beach,” he said. “I wanted to be a part of it. I wanted to see what it was like to experience it and it was pretty intense. I saw a lot of passionate people and it felt as if I was marching for the right reasons.

“After an hour or so I sought out the leader and we had a conversation and we talked about what was the endgame. After the protests, what is this going to lead to? That’s when I got a little disappointed because there was no plan. … I don’t want to be doing this again 20 years from now, and so I’m looking for ways to sit at the table and have a conversation about this broken system.”

Lynn touched on Colin Kaepernick, saying it’s “tough” to see the quarterback out of the NFL after he protested racial injustice by kneeling during the national anthem. Lynn said he will never kneel during the national anthem because of his family’s military history, but he said he “understood and applauded (Kaepernick) for it.”

The coach also described his own experience being racially profiled, recalling a time he was pulled over in his car.

“I was pulled over not too long ago,” Lynn said. “The lights come on, I pull over and the first thing the police officer asked [was] if I was on parole or if I had ever been to jail.

“… Before he told me why he was pulling me over he asked if I was on parole or had I been to jail. It was a Friday, and the reason why I know this is because we had to play Baltimore that weekend, and I was worried if I went to jail, I wouldn’t get out in time. If I didn’t have the game, I would have gone off.”

Lynn is entering his fourth year coaching the Chargers and his 21st coaching in the NFL.

Another NFL head coach, Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints, also spoke out Tuesday about the killing of Floyd.

Payton posted photos of Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery — a 25-year-old black man who was shot and killed by two white men in Georgia in February, in what is being federally investigated as a hate crime — along with the caption, “Were Murdered not Killed on Video. How many have we not seen? 22 weeks from today for change.”