In Azteca Stadium in Mexico City on Sunday, the Oakland Raiders’ Marshawn Lynch sat during most of the performance of America’s national anthem, but stood for the playing of Mexico’s anthem. In response, President Trump offered the NFL some familiar advice.
“Marshawn Lynch of the NFL’s Oakland Raiders stands for the Mexican Anthem and sits down to boos for our National Anthem,” wrote Trump. “Great disrespect! Next time NFL should suspend him for remainder of season. Attendance and ratings way down.”
The protest of the American national anthem on foreign soil came before the Raiders faced off against the New England Patriots, who ended up winning the game handily, 33 – 8. Lynch went 67 yards on 11 carries with no touchdowns.
Lynch has been one of the players who has refused to stand for the anthem this season, but this time the move was a particularly bad choice, as the contrast between Lynch’s disrespectful treatment of his own country and show of respect for Mexico, which is plagued by far more “systemic” problems than the U.S., underscored both the divisiveness and illogic of the anthem protests.
As Daily Wire’s Hank Berrien notes, Lynch has not stood for the anthem since coming out of retirement. When asked back in 2016 about Colin Kaepernick kneeling for the anthem, Lynch said, “With what’s going on, I’d rather see him take a knee than stand up, put his hands up and get murdered, so I mean, my take on it is, [expletive] we’ve got to start somewhere, and if that was the start, I just hope people open up their eyes to see that there’s really a problem going on, and something needs to be done for it to stop. If you’re really not racist then you won’t see what he’s doing as a threat to America.”
When asked about the “elephant in the room” after he knelt for the anthem during the 2017 preseason, Lynch replied, “I think that elephant just left the room ’cause a little mouse ran in here. Didn’t they say elephants are scared of mouses or something? That motherf***** left, cousin.”
President Trump has been hammering away at the anthem protests for months. His suggestion in late September that owners should bench or fire the “son of a b****” players who kneel set off a massive protest the following Sunday and Monday, with over 200 players either kneeling or not taking the field for the anthem. As the Daily Wire has chronicled, the negative impact on the NFL’s ratings from the #TakeAKnee movement has become impossible for the league to ignore, prompting a concerted effort by league execs to try to quell the divisive protests.