Before the NFL game in Mexico City between the Oakland Raiders and New England Patriots, Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch demonstrated an historic cluelessness so profound it was actually funny.
Lynch, a regular kneeler this year during the playing of the national anthem before the games, actually stood for the Mexican national anthem before protesting the flag by taking a knee.
Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch sat during most of U.S. anthem and stood for the Mexican anthem before their game against the Patriots at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City.
Lynch has not stood for the national anthem since returning from retirement this season.
There did not appear to be any other protests during the anthem as the afternoon games kicked off. Five NFL players protested during the national anthems before early games.
Donald Trump was none too pleased.
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
In order to understand the empty-headed stupidity of Lynch’s protest, we must recall why Lynch and other NFL players are protesting in the first place. They are imitating the protest of former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who explained why he was protesting thusly:
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Media in an exclusive interview after the game. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
So he kneels for a flag he feels “oppresses black people” and stands for a flag that…huh?
From a recent human rights report on Mexico:
The IACHR published a report in March documenting a wide range of abuses in Mexico—including disappearances; extrajudicial executions; torture; and insecurity for women, children, migrants, human rights defenders, and journalists—which they concluded amounted to a “crisis of gross human rights violations.”
Lynch is worried about cops who “get away with murder” in the U.S. That’s a matter of opinion, but at least they end up going to trial. There is a process where the accused is brought before the bar of justice and a jury of his peers decides his fate.
Mexico? Not so much.
Unlawful killings of civilians by Mexican security forces “take place at an alarmingly high rate” amid an atmosphere of “systematic and endemic impunity,” according to the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions in 2014.
In August 2016, the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) concluded that federal police arbitrarily executed 22 of 42 civilians who died in a confrontation in 2015 in Tanhuato, Michoacán State. Police fatally shot at least 13 people in the back, tortured two detainees, and burned a man alive, the CNDH concluded, then altered the crime scene by moving bodies and planting guns to justify the illegal killings.
Sounds like a real paradise, Marshawn. And you stood for the anthem of this country? Sheesh.
Yes, well, maybe Mexico is a great place to go to escape racism and “oppression.” Right?
Yet, even to an outsider it should be obvious that not only does racism exist in the country, but that it is prevalent. Overall, one’s skin color is the major determinant of that person’s place in society- educationally, occupationally, connection-wise and status-wise. Dating back almost 500 years to when the Spanish conquistadors’ blood began mixing with that of the indigenous population, in Mexico lighter skinned people have been considered to be more desirable, more worthy and more beautiful than darker skinned individuals.
Just take a look at who is employed where. Generally speaking, the most sought after, best, most important and highest paid jobs are disproportionately filled by those that have the lightest skin. Lighter skinned persons dominate such professional fields as medicine, dentistry, engineering and architecture. The same can be said about the upper echelons of politics and in academia. Conversely, the lowest paying jobs and those with the least social status such as housekeepers/maids, construction workers, street vendors, restaurant kitchen workers, and public transportation employees are unfortunately the “birth right” of those with darker skin.
Nowhere is this racial/ethnic discriminatory dichotomy more visually apparent than in the worlds of entertainment and advertising. In the country’s numerous and popular telenovas/soap operas usually the lead roles are portrayed by light skinned performers with darker skinned persons normally portraying “subservient” roles as maids, cooks or gardeners or “villains” such as criminals. Television commercials and magazine ads almost invariably feature light skinned actors/actresses and models. This is so much the case that if one were only exposed to those elements of Mexican culture one could (erroneously!) conclude that Mexico is a Caucasian dominated country.
Lynch’s towering ignorance should make him an object of ridicule. Instead, the media is excusing his inexcusable and idiotic behavior:
Some in the media went laughably out on a limb to paint Lynch in a more positive light.
What, like Trump’s purposely targeting blacks?
ESPN noted that “Lynch was actually standing during the first few bars of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ on Sunday before taking a seat. And while he stood for the Mexican anthem, he was not completely at attention.”
Not completely at attention? Who cares?
When the media has to twist itself into a pretzel to excuse inappropriate behavior, you know they’re desperate.
No one in the media will ask Mr. Lynch why in the name of all that is good and holy he stood during the playing of a national anthem from a country as wretched as Mexico, where real injustices — not the fake kind invented by Black Lives Matter — are committed on a daily basis and racism is endemic.