Mexico-U.S. sports diplomacy could transcend ugly politics

12/21/2016 The San Diego Union-Tribune 

Soccer StadiumEarlier this month I asked Mexico’s secretary of the economy, Ildefonso Guajardo, whether he fears a Trump presidency will revive the anti-Americanism that, until recent years, was a staple of Mexican life.

Surprisingly, his answer was all about the first-ever “Monday Night Football” game played outside the United States, in Mexico City’s iconic Estadio Azteca. The Oakland Raiders beat the Houston Texans, but what Guajardo found most telling was when the anthems of both countries were played pregame. Despite a few scattered boos, the Mexican crowd’s response was gracious and respectful, a sign that positive attitudes toward people on the other side of the border can transcend demagogues’ efforts to distort the truth of our mutually beneficial North American partnership.

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