With some Americans, particularly those of Latino backgrounds, upset over Tuesday’s U.S. presidential election result, Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez is hoping Friday’s match will help cheer them up.
Mexico will face off against the USA on Friday (7 p.m. ET on FS1) in Columbus, Ohio, just three days after the end of a very contentious political campaign. Donald Trump, who won Tuesday’s presidential election, sparked controversy on the campaign trail by saying he would deport millions of undocumented immigrants.
"There are moments that are not nice for some people and that wasn’t the best for Latinos and all of us," he said of the election result. "But life goes on.
"Sadly, that was the decision that the country made. If our game can give them some joy and take away the sadness they are going through, good then."
Trump drew widespread criticism for comments he made about Mexican immigrants and he ran on the promise of building a wall at the USA-Mexico border to keep immigrants out. According to exit polls, the vast majority of Latinos voted for Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton.
Trump’s rhetoric has been a source of controversy and been blamed for a deepening divide on immigration issues in the United States. When the USA played Mexico last year, TV Azteca in Mexico featured Trump, then a candidate in the Republican primary, prominently in their ad for the game.
Asked about whether the election result gives Friday’s match more importance, 28-year-old Chicharito said it did.
"Of course it does. A lot of people put all their happiness in a football game, but life goes on," he said. "Obviously I am going to try to do the best for my country and for the country in which I might be living."