In late 2014 Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch was fined $100,000 for refusing to speak to the media. According to the NFL Media Policy all players are required to make themselves available to speak to journalists during game weeks and in the locker room after games. The hefty penalty was placed after Lynch failed to comply with the NFL Media Policy following a losing effort to the Kansas City Chiefs on November 16.
So, the football world watched and waited to for Seahawks Media Day to see what Lynch would do, who had previously joked about skipping Media Day. Lynch did not skip, but he made it clear that he was only there so he wouldn’t get fined, replying 29 times with the same statement. Though there may be no one reason as to why Lynch has such a strong aversion to speaking with the media, his comments were especially puzzling after he was front and center in a press conference presented by Skittles where he conversed about his favorite planet (Earth) and a preference of dog or cat videos (cat), among other frivolous topics that gave fans an insight into his lighthearted sense of humor. Though he would rather not speak with the media, the Skittles press conference as well as a three-hour interview for ESPN’s “E:60” in 2013 show that it is not impossible. It is a funny thing that a man who simply wants privacy is the now making headlines and causing controversy, the very thing he tried to avoid.
Despite his redeeming qualities, a few scattered occurrences of run-ins with the law, and now various fines from the NFL, have caused him a great deal of scrutiny. It is understandable that some athletes simply do not like to speak to the media and are uncomfortable in a situation with reporters, cameras, and plenty of questions, but it is ultimately part of the job. Though he was present at Media Day, it will be interesting to see if his brevity and singular statement will be enough to be considered cooperative.
Student Advisory Board Member