Remember when business personality and presidential candidate Donald Trump came under fire over the summer for his comments about Mexico? If you don’t, Fox Soccer has no problem reminding you.
This weekend the television network (FOX) recycled Trump’s controversial comments in a video promoting the weekend’s game between regional rivals U.S. and Mexico. The clip was made as a response to an earlier promo released by TV Azteca, a Mexican network, in early September. The TV Azteca ad pumped up Mexico fans by spinning Trump’s words to support the Mexican team. It showed Trump saying, “Our country is in serious trouble” and “We don’t have victories anymore,” and ended on a sinister note: “The American Dream is dead.”
Industry observers described the transformation of Trump’s words as “brilliant” and “spectacular.”
Yet when Fox Soccer responded on Friday with a Trump clip of its own, it wasn’t met with the same acclaim. In the Fox promo for the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team, Trump was quoted as saying, “Our country has tremendous people, tremendous potential,” and ended with his Reagan-era campaign slogan: “We will make America great again.”
The problem? The source material for those quotes, a series of speeches Trump made in early July, is considered by many to be xenophobic and racist.
(From his June 16 speech declaring his official entry into the presidential race: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”)
When a Mexican outlet twisted Trump’s words, both U.S. and Mexico fans found it admirable. When an American outlet did the same, few fans appreciated it—other than Trump, of course.
The Underdog Effect strikes again.