If you want to learn about a completely mind-numbing “controversy” about who is and is not allowed to root for which national team at the World Cup, and in the process become more convinced that there isn’t much brain behind that enormous forehead of Landon Donovan’s, then you’ve come to the right place.
Okay, so this whole thing started when Donovan tweeted this dopey ad:
The ad sucks, as all ads that try to disguise the fact that they are ads suck. However, the underlying sentiment is fine. Root for Mexico if you want. If you don’t want to, that’s fine too. Nobody should really give a shit either way.
And yet some did decide to give a shit about a meaningless, stupid ad. A few prominent figures in the U.S. soccer scene took offense at Donovan taking money to appear in an ad supporting the U.S.’s biggest soccer rival, and made their ire known on social media. Normally this would be a bad thing, because anyone who talks about an ad as if it were real life should undergo electrotherapy until they are cured of their illness, and because, again, the underlying sentiment is completely harmless. But in this case, where the brouhaha came at the expense of the shitty bank that made the dumb ad and Donovan, it was kind of good. A collection of some of the responses:
These responses are a little annoying in their own right, but are mostly fine. If you’re an American and don’t want to root for Mexico for rivalry reasons, that’s perfectly fine. Just as it’s perfectly fine to pull for Mexico if you want. Pretending that the U.S.-Mexico rivalry is in the same universe as Brazil-Argentina or Manchester United-Liverpool or Yankees-Red Sox is silly, and in fact smacks of the same kind of cosplaying that too often afflicts America’s insecure soccer fandom culture. U.S. fans don’t have to feign or exaggerate their hatred for Mexico just because Barcelona fans hate Real Madrid. Pretending to do so just confuses the real issues holding American soccer back.
At that point in the controversy, neither side came off looking particularly great. The anti-Donovan contingent looked a little better, because it’s always fuck banks and fuck Donovan, but both sides had flaws. Probably sensing that he wasn’t way out ahead one way or the other, Donovan then swooped in with a near-fatal dose of white boy presumptuousness to make it clear that he is truly the biggest asshole of them all. Behold the latest episode of When Keeping It Woke Goes Wrong:
The sheer audacity to basically call Carlos Bocanegra a self-hating Mexican because he didn’t like your dumb ad. And doing that in some insane effort to make it look like you are the woke one for, I don’t know, standing up for Mexicans by taking a shitty bank’s money and suggesting people maybe root for a soccer team. It would be literally unbelievable if it weren’t so perfectly indicative of the current discourse.
Former USMNT player and current ESPN analyst Herculez Gomez called out Donovan’s offensive rhetoric in about the gentlest way possible:
Donovan tweeted the original ad on Saturday morning and sent the fuckboy one later that night. Yesterday, he tried to clarify himself in another tweet by talking about a bunch of irrelevant shit that only proved he didn’t understand what the actually offensive part of his tweets were. Rooting for Mexico as a USMNT fan is one thing, being Landon Donovan and telling Americans to root for Mexico is another, being Landon Donovan and letting yourself be used by a sponsor in an ad for Mexico yet another, and essentially calling a man with a Mexican father a sell-out is an entirely different one. You can feel one way or the other about some of those things, but the last one is unquestionably heinous.
Someone finally must’ve hipped Donovan to how fucked up his tweet at Bocanegra was, as just this afternoon he deleted it shortly before sending the following tweet:
So Donovan is okay with getting paid to tell Americans that they should root for a foreign country’s national team, but is less okay with Americans born in a foreign country representing America on our own national team. The only thing clear about Donovan’s worldview is that it’s dumb as hell.