Congratulations goes out to anyone who had Marshawn Lynch as the person who would be the target of President Donald Trump’s anger on Twitter Monday morning in the office pool. Hopefully you won something nice.
But yes, the President took to Twitter Monday morning to call for the suspension of Lynch, the running back for the Oakland Raiders, after photographers caught Lynch sitting during the national anthem prior to the start of Sunday’s game. Reports later clarified that Lynch was actually standing for the start of the anthem and then sat down.
Regardless, Lynch was sitting and to make matters worse in Trump’s eyes, Lynch stood during the playing of the Mexican national anthem. The game between the Raiders and the New England Patriots was played in Mexico City.
Ben Volin, who covers the Patriots, for the Boston Globe, tweeted out two pictures of Lynch before Sunday’s kickoff. In a response to one Twitter user who responded that standing for the anthem wasn’t news anymore, Volin seemed to respond with tongue firmly in cheek, saying “first time I’ve seen Lynch stand for the Mexican anthem. You?”
Yet there was nothing tongue in cheek with Trump’s response to Lynch’s actions.
“Marshawn Lynch of the NFL’s Oakland Raiders stands for the Mexican Anthem and sits down to boos for our National Anthem,” he tweeted. “Great disrespect! Next time NFL should suspend him for remainder of season. Attendance and ratings way down.”
Call it a coincidence, but some on Twitter noticed that Trump’s tweet came a little over twenty minutes after Fox & Friends did a brief segment on Lynch.
Sunday’s game, in which Lynch’s Raiders lost to the Patriots 33-8, is hardly the first time Lynch has decided to take a seat during the anthem. Lynch, whose nickname is Beast Mode and harbors a strong affinity for Skittles, has sat through every anthem this season. He has not said why he’s sitting, but it’s not as if Lynch is a stranger to being a man of few words. One clue could be traced back to early October, when prior to a game Lynch was seen wearing a shirt that said “Everybody vs. Trump.”
Lynch came out retirement this year, having retired as a member of the Seattle Seahawks following the team’s heart-breaking lost to the Patriots in Super Bowl 50.
Trump has been at war with the NFL for the better part of this season, routinely expressing his anger with owners for not doing enough to ensure that their players stand for the anthem. The feud reached a boiling point at a rally in late September when Trump, seemingly on a whim, waded into the controversy.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired. He’s fired,’” Trump said. “You know, some owner is going to do that. He’s going to say, ‘That guy that disrespects our flag, he’s fired.’ And that owner, they don’t know it [but] they’ll be the most popular person in this country.”
If you are keeping track, this would then be the second day in a row that the President has gone after African-American athletes on Twitter. On Sunday he went after the three UCLA basketball players who were recently accused of shop-lifting in China, calling them ungrateful for helping them get released. Trump also took aim at one of the players’ fathers, the out-spoken Lavar Ball, who had dismissed the role the President played in the release of his son. He was also called ungrateful by the President.