President Trump on Monday slammed a top NFL player who sat for “The Star-Spangled Banner” but stood for Mexico’s national anthem, and offered a new directive: suspend him for the “remainder of the season.”
Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch sat during the majority of the U.S. national anthem, but stood for the Mexican anthem before his team's game Sunday against the New England Patriots at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City.
“Marshawn Lynch of the NFL’s Oakland Raiders stands for the Mexican Anthem and sits down to boos for our National Anthem. Great disrespect!” Trump tweeted. “Next time NFL should suspend him for the remainder of the season. Attendance and ratings way down.”
The president has seemingly taken it easy on the NFL for the past few weeks -- likely because he was overseas for a 13-day Asia tour. But Sunday, he again addressed the NFL's national anthem controversy.
According to Sports Illustrated, Lynch has protested the anthem all season, and has not stood for the anthem since coming out of retirement to join the Raiders.
NFL players who have protested the national anthem this season by taking a knee, or sitting on the bench, reportedly do so to protest police brutality and injustice, rather than the U.S.
The now months-long feud began dominating headlines in September after a rally in Alabama when Trump called for players to be fired if they disrespected the flag, spurring 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 b--- off the field right now? Out! He’s fired! He’s fired!” Trump said to the crowd at the rally, drawing criticism from NFL players, as well as NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
The president has repeatedly tweeted about his disappointment in the NFL players, and managers for their lack of “rules and regulations” to ensure players stand for the anthem.