Marshawn Lynch should tell his story


While Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler’s catch may have been the most memorable moment of Super Bowl XLIX, the most impactful moment happened way before even the coin flip occurred Sunday night.

For many fans, Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch refusing to genuinely speak to the media in the days preceding the Super Bowl was not anything to talk about, but I believe it could possibly have a large impact on sports culture as we know it.

Peter Gormley/B&W staff

Peter Gormley/B&W staff

Professional sports rely on one thing and one thing only: its fans.

The fans are the ones who bring in a large majority of the money. They buy the jerseys, the memorabilia, the tickets, the hot dogs and so much more. At home games, the fans can even contribute to the outcome of the game. Marshawn Lynch should be the first person to agree, especially because he plays for one of the most energetic and passionate group of fans in sports history, the Seattle Seahawks’ “twelfth man.” These fans are the reason the players are getting paid millions of dollars a year to play a sport they love.

Some may argue that the fans are the most important aspect of sports today.

I can understand why Lynch has little — or even no — interest in engaging with the media. There have been instances in which players’ words have been twisted and misinterpreted, leading to false headlines and poor press about the players.

“I’m not as comfortable, especially at the position I play, making it about me,” said Lynch. “As a running back, it takes five offensive linemen, a tight end, a fullback and possibly two wide receivers in order to make my job successful. But when I do interviews, most of the time, it’ll come back to me. There are only so many times I can say, ‘I owe it to my offensive linemen,’ or, ‘the credit should go to my teammates,’ before it becomes run down.”

Although I agree with Lynch in some aspects, players like Peyton Manning,  LeBron James and Derek Jeter are constantly proclaimed as very unselfish ball players although they are constantly responding to the media.

When Lynch refused the media by repeating, “I’m just here so I don’t get fined” over and over, he may have intended to disrespect the media, but realistically, he was disrespecting the fans.

He was disrespecting the “twelfth men” who were holding onto his every word. He was disrespecting all the kids growing up in his hometown of Oakland, California, who look at him not only as their favorite team’s star player, but their hometown hero.

Unfortunately, Lynch was not penalized for his antics at the Super Bowl media days, opening the door for other athletes to potentially follow in his footsteps.

Hours after the NFL announced it wouldn’t fine Lynch, Boston Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. announced he plans to “go all Marshawn Lynch” this upcoming season, implying that he, too, will not entertain the media.

“I just focus on me,” said Bradley. “I have to do what I’ve got to do. I don’t even talk about it to anybody. Action speaks louder than words, and that’s pretty much (how) this whole year is going to be.”

I commend Bradley for his efforts to focus on his game, but I don’t think he understands the implications that follow. Without the commissioners of the leagues penalizing the players for not speaking to the media or genuinely answering questions, who would actually speak to the media? The losing team would rarely talk to the media, so that knocks out half of the players and coaches. Then, out of the winning team, many players would seldom talk with reporters.

If players didn’t talk to the media, we wouldn’t have the brilliant quotes that inspire millions of people.

We wouldn’t have posters hanging in kids’ rooms with quotes that someone could come home to and be inspired when they are having a tough day.

“You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take,” said Wayne Gretzky.

“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion,’” said Muhammad Ali.

“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed,” said Michael Jordan.

I find it hard to believe that a player like Lynch does not have the stories that will inspire his fans. A “30 for 30” ESPN documentary on him illustrates what it took for Lynch to get to where he is today. He grew up in the projects of Oakland with only his mother to raise him. He now works with many kids in Oakland, helping them become better people and better football players.

If Lynch would just pick up a microphone, I think many people would love to hear his amazing story.

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  1. I am not a Seahawks fan at all. However, Marshawn Lynch is my favorite NFL player simply because he doesn’t talk to the media. I bet if you asked any Seahawks fan they would agree that he has said all he needs to in the quote you used in your article. Obviously the guy is uncomfortable in front of cameras and just wants to play football

  2. Well first of all you should probably know something about football, Marshawn Lynch and the Seattle Seahawks fans (it’s the 12th man not 13th). You see there is 11 men on each side of the ball. That would be offense they are trying to score points a touchdown is worth 6 points then you can either try to kick the ball through the goalpost for 1 point or try to get the ball across the goal line for 2 points also known as a 2 point conversion or you can try for a field goal worth 3 points.Then there is defense they are trying to defend the endzone and not let the other team score. the 12th man is believed by Seattle Seahawk fans that if they are loud enough they can give a true home field advantage equivalent of having another player on the field. So that would be the 12th man making it 12 against 11.

    Now that we have that part settled lets get onto Marshawn Beast Mode Lynch. Does it really matter what he says or doesn’t say to the media. The media who is blowing his silence out of proportion. Marshawn probably does more for the community where he grew up in a year than most people do in a lifetime. Just because he doesn’t talk to the media you think he is snubbing and disrespecting the fans. That couldn’t be further from the truth. He is known to hang out at the high school he graduated from all the time and help the kids to be a powerful positive role model, what have you done for your community. He has given the shirt off his back to somebody that needed it. Given shoes right off his feet to a kid that couldn’t afford them and thought they looked cool, and gone all day barefoot how many people do you know that are willing to do that. He has let a high school boy take his $80,000 Mercedes Benz to prom because the boy didn’t have a car to drive ever seen that before. Freedom of Speech should also mean Freedom of Silence.

    True Seattle Seahawk fans and Marshawn Lynch fans don’t really care and love the fact that he snubs the media and makes a mockery of them. If you want to know what Marshawn thinks or has to say go to Oakland to Oakland Tech High School and hang out maybe he will say something great that you can put on a poster.

    GO SEA–Hawks!!!!!!

    From a Raider Fan

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