As the NFL crossed the border for its now-annual game at the Estadio Azteca, it also brought a heaping dose of stupidity in the former of a certain US politician. While 45’s favorite team, the New England Patriots, ended up shredding the “home” team Oakland Raiders by the score of 33-8, Trump was instead focused on coming after everyone’s favorite NFL malcontent, Marshawn Lynch.
As one of the players who has been most vocal and visual in his anti-police brutality and racial inequality protests, Lynch has not let the buzz around the anthem distract him from his demonstrations. On Sunday, the Raiders running back took that protest to Mexico, as he sat down during the US national anthem (as is his custom). However, the thing that truly incensed Trump was that Lynch conversely stood for the Mexican national anthem.
Let’s put aside the fact that Trump should have more important things to do than bash Lynch (or any NFL player) for the protests during the Star-Spangled Banner; that he decided to bring even more attention to Lynch’s protest seems counterproductive, in a very Trump way. And it wasn’t enough to condemn an action that Trump either doesn’t understand or willfully misinterprets; he did as he does, and called for the NFL to suspend Lynch, despite no evidence that the league has any interest in suspending players for protesting (they’re only interested in blackballing the initiator of the movement, Colin Kaepernick; at least according to LeBron James, Richard Sherman, Adam Schefter, and basically anyone else who watches the quality of some NFL quarterbacks).
Of course, there’s an argument to be made against Lynch standing for the Mexican anthem either; Mexico has problems with police brutality of their own. Then again, Lynch likely is focused on his own country, so it’s not reasonable to ask him to research Mexico’s police issues and come to a stance similar to his for the US anthem.
Regardless, Trump’s call for a suspension will likely fall on deaf ears, especially as the league seemingly opens itself up to allowing more peaceful protests from its players.