President Donald Trump has slammed Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch for continuing to sit for the Star Spangled Banner, despite standing for the Mexican anthem before a game on Sunday.
In an early morning tweet on Monday, Trump accused Lynch of booing during the US national anthem and said the NFL should suspend him for the ‘remainder of season’.
‘Marshawn Lynch of the NFL’s Oakland Raiders stands for the Mexican Anthem and sits down to boos for our National Anthem,’ Trump wrote. ‘Great disrespect!
‘Next time NFL should suspend him for remainder of season. Attendance and ratings way down.’
Lynch’s sitting protest took place on Sunday before the Raiders played the New England Patriots at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City.
The football star has not stood for the US national anthem since returning from retirement this season.
His protest came during the third regular season game the National Football League has ever played in Mexico.
The odd contrast of sitting for his own country’s anthem before standing to honor the host nation’s flag drew both scorn and support after Boston Globe reporter Ben Volin posted pictures of the incident on Twitter.
‘He may want to investigate race issues in Mexico,’ attorney John B O’Keefe wrote on Twitter.
‘He should stay there. See how the police treat ppl there,’ retired police sergeant Bob Gambuti wrote.
Others were supportive, such as Nelson Espe, who tweeted in response to the incident: ‘Marshawn is a god. I love this man’.
At Azteca Stadium, there was a festive environment, with loud cheers for both teams from the crowd of 77,357.
During halftime, the Mexican hosts staged a rousing tribute to the nation’s first responders at the famed stadium.
The Patriots beat the overmatched Raiders handily, 33-8.