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Early Monday morning, Trump commented on the Oakland Raiders’ Marshawn Lynch, who was playing in Mexico. Lynch sat for most of the national anthem but stood for Mexico’s anthem:
Marshawn Lynch of the NFL’s Oakland Raiders stands for the Mexican Anthem and sits down to boos for our National Anthem. Great disrespect! Next time NFL should suspend him for remainder of season. Attendance and ratings way down.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 20, 2017
“Marshawn Lynch of the NFL’s Oakland Raiders stands for the Mexican Anthem and sits down to boos for our National Anthem,” Trump tweeted. “Great disrespect! Next time NFL should suspend him for remainder of season. Attendance and ratings way down.”
According to reports on the scene, Lynch sat down shortly after the start of the national anthem and stood, not at attention, for Mexico’s anthem. While Lynch has never spoken publicly about whether he is specifically protesting systemic inequality, as many other protesters have, he wore a “Everybody Vs. Trump” t-shirt in October, giving a pretty good idea of where his intentions might lie.
The NFL and its protests have been one of Trump’s go-to targets for the last couple months. The protests have been highly unpopular with Trump’s populist base, and Trump has clearly reveled in the positive attention he’s received every time he attacks the league’s players or ratings.
A recent poll suggested a majority of Americans believed Trump was wrong to seek the firing of NFL players for kneeling; it’s worth noting that Trump’s call for suspension is somewhat softer this time. But since it’s likely Lynch will sit again for the anthem in the future, Trump has a ready-made hammer to bring down on the NFL’s head once again.
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