Marshawn Lynch is the star running back of the Seattle Seahawks. He is a great player on a great team. Lynch is fortunate enough to be on the reigning Super Bowl winning team that is attempting to repeat as champs this Sunday in Phoenix.
Part of Marshawn Lynch’s responsibility as a player on a team in the Super Bowl is to meet with the media. That is the league’s rules and if players break those rules, they receive a major fine. Lynch fulfilled his responsibility this past week. Sort of. On Media Day on Tuesday, he said over and over again, “I’m here so I don’t get fined.” That’s it.
He has said in the past that he hates talking to the media. The whole season he sparred with them and claimed it was shyness. This claim of shyness is hard to believe. As he claims to not want to talk or gain attention, he is actually turning himself into more of a show by his antics. How ironic! If he was so shy, he would give standard quotes that add little to the conversation. Instead, he puts on a show of defiance and claims he’s just doing what he has to do. Oh and while putting on the show, he seems very comfortable when promoting his website and products.
Sure, he says he’s there for his teammates. He says that other than his family, he doesn’t care what people think of him. He is in Phoenix to prepare for a game. That’s it.
Sorry buddy, but it’s not it. You don’t have to like the media or care about what people think. But you have a responsibility. That responsibility comes from being an NFL player (not to mention a role model to kids who could take the message and not respond when their parent or teacher speaks with them simply because they don’t think they should have to). So even though the media can ask foolish questions… Even though the media can both build up and take down … Even though there are plenty of problems with the media… It’s part of your job.
Think about it.
Television contracts and the like are the backbone of the financial footing of sports teams. Newspaper reporters write about football because the fans are interested. Their writing generates more interest in the sport. It feeds the beast (some of us football fans can be pretty crazy!) so to say. That interest lends itself to people buying tickets, buying sports memorabilia, and watching the game on television. It is all part of the package.
So, when Lynch bucks the NFL rules or adheres to them in the jerkiest way he can, he is biting the hand that feeds him. By the way, he made 6.5 million dollars last year. How many of you made that much? Me either. Call me crazy, but I don’t think Lynch would have either if it weren’t for football. On top of that, he is adored by many including kids. He’s living the dream so many young boys have of playing as a professional athlete. So, you would think he would be grateful for his opportunity and blessing.
I know professional football players sacrifice their bodies. Many spend the rest of their lives after their career in some sort of physical pain. They also die on average nearly twenty years younger than the average American male. Yes, there are consequences to reaching the pinnacle of football playing.
But Marshawn Lynch has chosen his career. He is at the peak. He is a cornerstone of a great team and in a powerful league. As such, he should be a team player. His team, in this case is not just the Seattle Seahawks. His team is the NFL. Without the league and its tremendous economic success, he would not be in the place he is today. So, suck it up Marshawn and play the media game before the football game. It’s your responsibility.