Super Bowl XLIX has brought the spotlight onto the scrutiny of players being available to talk to the media. Most of the time players and coaches visibly don’t have any issue portraying their thoughts and opinions on a certain subject, but an individual who seems to never want to be present is Marshawn Lynch of the Seattle Seahawks.
Lynch, who is widely becoming known as “beast mode” rushed for 1,306 yards according to espn.go.com this past season, while making the pro bowl for the fourth straight year. He has undoubtedly become one of the most popular and most talked about players in the NFL. However, Lynch is not a man of many words when it comes to media responsibilities.
“Thanks for asking” and “yeah” are answers he told reporters after every question during post-game interviews. According to espn.go.com, the star running back was told he would receive a fine of $500,000 for failure to attend Super Bowl XLIX media day. Lynch showed up, wondering why they were even talking to him as he replied to every question “I’m here so I won’t get fined.”
According to Professional Football Writers of America [PFWA] it is not permissible for any player or any group of players to boycott the media. The rule, however, does not say that he has to give an extended, relatable answer.
Lynch has already forked over thousands of dollars in fines for not talking to the media. So the question is now, should the NFL be more lenient on their fines to players, or should Lynch just keep giving his short answers with probable aspirations of him just being left alone?
The NFL is not out of bounds in fining Lynch because he did sign a contract to appear in front of reporters. But some people just do not want to talk. There are many different opinions on the NFL’s policy on whether or not the NFL should remove the media rule.
To many fans, Lynch is a role model and people would be interested in what he has to say. If everyone acted like he did, the sports world would turn completely dull. A big part of what makes athletes so likeable is of course performance during their sport, but also how they carry themselves away from it.
At the same time, guys are exhausted or coming off a tough loss, and probably one of the last things they want to do is share an opinion to the media. Lynch just seems to be boycotting the whole notion of it and reporters and the NFL cannot seem to come to terms.
The bottom line is that these guys are heroes to some people, and part of the outcome of talking to the media is how you portray yourself off of the field. The NFL and some players have good arguments when it comes to facing the media. The best thing to do would be to compromise and maybe give players a certain number of passes on availability. It is just ugly and a settlement should be made to please both parties.