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.