Marshawn Lynch Went to Scotland and the Punch Line Is Marshawn Lynch

Rich Polk/Getty Images
Rich Polk/Getty Images

So I never know how to take these videos; you know, the ones where they take the African-American sports star out of his element and surround him in whiteness and then record him. It’s always felt like a backward safari, one of those moments when we collectively laugh at how uncultured the athlete is around culture.

Former Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch is in one of these videos for Skittles. The plot is to have Marshawn Lynch go to Houston, Scotland, and not the other Houston where the Super Bowl is to be played. The joke, I guess, is watching Lynch, who is all Oakland, Calif., down to his toes, surrounded by proper-speaking Scots.

I’ve always loved Lynch, from his no-nonsense running style to his nickname (Beast Mode) to his refusal to talk to the press. So I don’t know if I’m overthinking it here when I say that I don’t really like this Marshawn Lynch. The Marshawn Lynch where the joke is watching Marshawn Lynch being Marshawn Lynch. I don’t know if I see the humor in that. It feels exploitative, almost as if those directing the commercial thought it would be funny to see how Oakland behaves outside of Oakland.


I’m also fully aware that Donald Trump has ruined everything, so I’m probably having a hard time seeing the joke in the mix of it all, but the video is below, so decide for yourself and hit me on Twitter or post in the comments section and tell me if I missed the funny.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.

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Disclaimer: My first reaction to Marshawn’s retirement (after extreme disappointment) was ohmygod please let him make a TV show about doing things retired people do. My argument then, as now, is that people love watching Marshawn interact with other people and situations because he’s clearly a smart guy who enjoys experiencing new things and new people. He’s genuinely interested in his surroundings and in what is going on around him, and he’s personable and fun. I’m with you 100% on the problematic nature of the “backward safari,” but I’m not quite sure that Marshawn’s interactions and media presence fit that bill.