Marshawn Lynch won’t stand for the national anthem. Or Donald Trump’s crap.
Before the Oakland Raiders’ game in Mexico City, Lynch sat during the Star-Spangled Banner but stood for the Mexican national anthem. Unsurprisingly, Donald Trump took offense.
It was the final act in a long weekend of Trump Twitter bashing. It came less than a day after Trump tweeted that he should have left three UCLA basketball players in a Chinese jail. Before that he called Hillary Clinton a loser and ripped into the sexual assault allegations against Democratic senator Al Franken.
While the president once again showcased his proclivity for Twitter meltdowns, he highlighted the quiet cool of Marshawn Lynch.
Lynch became a media darling in 2014 during his time with the Seattle Seahawks by refusing to speak with the media. Yes, you read that sentence correctly. He openly disdained interviews—peak moments of disdain included his pre-Super Bowl XLIX interview when he answered every question by saying “I’m just here so I won’t get fined.”
Reporters complained, but Lynch’s commitment to silence endeared him to fans. Before long, he was making appearances on Conan, renowned for his undying love for Skittles, and generally considered among the most fun-loving players in the NFL.
As his profile rose, so did the stories about his work off the field, primarily helping kids in his hometown of Oakland, Calif. with projects like the Fam 1st youth football camp. Lynch has been outspoken against police brutality and voiced his support for Colin Kaepernick when the quarterback began his national anthem protests in 2016. “If you’re not really racist, you won’t see what he’s doing as a threat to America, but just addressing a problem that we have.”
Since returning to the Raiders after a one-year retirement from football, Lynch has sat through the national anthem before every game this season. He was among the first players to be criticized for anthem protests this year, and drew even more ire when he donned an “Everybody vs. Trump” t-shirt before a game in October.
But despite all the attention and respect he’s garnered from fellow players, celebrities and anti-Trumpers, Lynch hasn’t yet spoken publicly about the president. That could change now that he’s the apple of Donald Trump’s Twitter eye. He’ll probably receive a bit more attention during media sessions this week. If Lynch decides to respond, though, rest assured it’ll be short and simple.