- Landon Donovan recently announced that with the U.S. out of this year’s World Cup he would be supporting Mexico, as part of a sponsorship deal with Wells Fargo.
- Donovan’s move has drawn intense criticism, including from former U.S. teammates Carlos Bocanegra and Herculez Gomez.
With the United States out of the 2018 World Cup, former U.S. Men’s National Team talisman Landon Donovan has thrown his support behind Mexico as part of a sponsorship deal with Wells Fargo, eliciting criticism from former teammates.
Carlos Bocanegra, a former teammate of Donovan’s, including at the 2010 World Cup, called out Donovan’s decision.
— Carlos Bocanegra (@BocaBoca3) June 16, 2018
Donovan later responded to Bocanegra on Twitter by framing his support for Mexico in terms of multi-culturalism. In fairness to Donovan, he played soccer with players of Hispanic descent as a kid growing up in Los Angeles, and has played professionally in Mexico, so it is possible his affinity for Mexico is genuine.
However, his decision to claim Bocanegra was forgetting his own Mexican heritage, and to reference the very real problems with how the U.S. is currently treating Mexicans, is viewed by some as an overly sanctimonious way of characterising what was originally a sponsorship arrangement with a bank.
This is an incredibly terrible take. Questioning ones loyalties to culture and/or heritage because HE questioned YOU for taking marketing dollars to “root” for your SPORTING RIVAL?
You can hate El Tri- this doesn’t mean you have anything against Mexicans. ✊???? ???????? ???????? https://t.co/xF9JCI1qBC
— herculez gomez (@herculezg) June 16, 2018
Donovan’s decision has been pretty strongly criticised across the board, including by fans. And NBC Sports Soccer pundit Kyle Martino, who made sporadic appearances for the USMNT, and this past year ran for the position of U.S. Soccer President, losing to the federation’s vice president Carlos Cordeiro, came out with a particularly pointed criticism.
Can’t tell u how disappointing it is to have made personal & financial sacrifices to try & hold our federation accountable only to see former USMNT players profit off the result of that poor governance by asking US fans to support our rivals in the tournament we failed to reach
— Kyle Martino (@kylemartino) June 17, 2018
Donovan has since issued a statement addressing the controversy on Twitter.
More World Cup coverage:
- Here’s how far every team in the World Cup will have to travel – and one team is at a significant disadvantage
- Landon Donovan advertisement asks fans to root for Mexico in the World Cup, and they did not take it well
- Iceland’s goalkeeper directed a Coca-Cola commercial for the World Cup and made brilliant use of the country’s ‘SKOL’ rallying cry
- Here is the full schedule and the results so far for the 2018 World Cup
- World Cup Power Ranking: Where every team stands heading into Russia 2018
- The one player you need to know from every country competing in the 2018 FIFA World Cup
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