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May 24, 2019

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Marshawn Lynch on Las Vegas: When you ‘come out here, you expect to enjoy yourself’

Marshawn Lynch

Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP

Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch fields questions after the team’s organized team activity at its NFL football training facility Tuesday, June 6, 2017, in Alameda, Calif.

It’s “just business.”

That’s how veteran Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch described the blockbuster trade last week that sent star linebacker Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears.

“I’ve been traded, I’ve retired and came back, it’s nothing new under the old moon that I haven’t seen that goes on with this business,” Lynch said. “I just wish the best for K-Mack and hopefully he’s able to get that check he was looking for.”

Business was exactly what drew Lynch to Las Vegas last week, unveiling his third Beast Mode retail store, which is located in Town Square.

Lynch said the “athleisure” line of men’s and women’s items were inspired by clothing items he wanted when he was younger but couldn’t afford. Sweats, specialty shirts, and even a training mask that mimics being in high altitude, can all be found with Beast Mode branding. The mask retails for $59.99; a hoodie is $69.95.

Comparing his football career and his recent foray into the business realm, Lynch said football is more challenging, despite some natural ability, but there are similarities between the two.

“My success has never been just about me. I play in a team sport and when you play in business, there are other people involved and you’re only as good as your weakest link,” he said. “I see it as my weakest link is my strongest link, so there isn’t any weak stuff going on. We’re not here to try and blend in with anybody, we’re not here to try and take anybody out.”

He said Las Vegas was a natural fit for his third brick-and-mortar storefront because of the Raiders relocating here in 2020. His other two stores are in Oakland and Seattle, where he previously played.

Landing in Town Square makes the Raiders presence in the shopping center even stronger, as Beast Mode joins the Raider Image, the official retail outlet of the Raiders, and the Las Vegas Raiders Preview Center, where fans can see Raiders relics and reserve their seats inside of the under-construction Las Vegas stadium.

“It actually worked out,” Lynch said. “The team decided that this was going to be a good location. It is a good fit.”

Lynch was already familiar with Las Vegas. He had a memorable showing in the 2005 Las Vegas Bowl with Cal, taking home MVP honors after rushing for 194 yards. He is also part of the game’s Hall of Fame.

“We not going to sugarcoat it — Vegas is Vegas and when you come out here you expect to enjoy yourself, and when I come out here that’s exactly what I do,” he said. “Now it just so happens that Vegas has taken my home team away from me, so more so I’m trying to get in where I fit in.”

Although he favors Las Vegas, Lynch doubts he’ll still be playing when the Raiders relocate here.

“I won’t play in Vegas,” he said. “Yeah, I said that before and then look, I came back. I don’t know, if the Raiders would have me again maybe it could work out.”