Delisa Lynch did what just about any mother would do if their son was confronted by a bully: She fought back.
Except in her case, that person was the president, and her son, no playground runt but 31-year-old NFL running back Marshawn Lynch, who Trump had lambasted in a tweet on Monday for not standing during the national anthem during a recent game in Mexico.
Delisa Lynch, who goes by @MommaLynch24 on Twitter, quickly jumped into the fray with a retort of her own.
“What NFL team do Trump own?” she fired off, citing the president’s tweet. “Oh yeah they wouldn’t let him have one!”
Lynch appeared to be referring to Trump’s long and stormy relationship with the NFL. The president bought a United State Football League team in 1983 for a fraction of the price of an NFL franchise, but never purchased an NFL team, getting outbid in 2014.
The fiery retort, which spread far and wide across the Internet, landed Lynch in a now growing group of people: the family members of people who have been targeted by Trump on Twitter, and instead of folding in resignation, have jumped in to join the fray.
Marshawn Lynch, who plays for the Oakland Raiders, is the latest athlete to draw a rebuke from the President, joining others, like former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry. Coincidentally or not, most have hailed from California, particularly the Bay Area, a reflection perhaps of how deep the state’s pockets of opposition to the president run.
Most if not all of the athletes Trump has attacked have been some other race than white, a point not lost on the president’s critics.
Perhaps it was just a matter of time before he went after Marshawn Lynch.
The subject of media fascination for years, the running back has earned notoriety as much for what he doesn’t say, as what he does. His unwillingness to feign interest in the media hoopla around the NFL has always made him stand out. But he is deeply beloved by fans, particularly in his hometown, Oakland, as well as those in other places he’s played, like Seattle.
“I’m just bout that action, boss,” he told Deion Sanders, who had found him wearing a hood and sunglasses during the media heavy lead up to the Super Bowl in 2014. “Want something you go get it; ain’t no need to talk about it.”
Still Lynch has found ways to communicate his feelings about Trump: Earlier this year, he wore a T-shirt that read, “Everybody vs. Trump,” to a game at the heights of the president’s inflammatory controversy over the national anthem.
But where he might be a sphinx, Delisa Lynch is a font of opinion, with 16,000 followers on Twitter. Long a fixture in the stands with her “Momma Lynch” jersey on, she has weighed in to support her son before. In the wake of the president’s tweet Monday, she came alive on Twitter, retweeting thank yous to the troops, pictures of American flags and words of support from fans.
In response to a harshly critical tweet by former Tea Party congressman Joe Walsh, she wrote: “Always the ones with their own issues to throw shade.”
Other people in the Raiders orbit fumed after the president’s statement as well.
“The bully-in-chief needs to worry about his own approval ratings and stop picking on people,” Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said in a video posted by ABC 7. “We are with you Marshawn.”
Linda Del Rio, the wife of Raiders Coach Jack Del Rio, said in a tweet that was later removed that she regretted her vote for Trump.
Lynch meanwhile, who gained 65 yards on 11 carries in the Raider’s defeat, stayed quiet on Twitter. The charity he co-founded handed out 500 turkeys to families in need in Oakland on Sunday, a spokeswoman said.