Michael Stilley explains why it’s time for Seattle Seahawks star running back, Marshawn Lynch, to quit the bad behavior when it comes to the NFL and the media and just grow up.
Beast Mode. Who doesn’t like a good nickname, especially one that has been earned in an undeniable and apt manner?
This is certainly the case for Marshawn Lynch. Even a casual NFL fan has seen highlights of Marshawn barreling through defenses, breaking not only arm tackles but an actual attempt at form tackles by skilled defenders.
This has happened in multiple instances, not just a one-time gig. Most notably, a 67 yard rush in the 2010 playoffs versus the Saints, where the reaction by the hometown fans was so uproarious that they actually registered on the Richter scale as a minor earthquake. Who could blame them? It was ridiculous. By all measurable accounts, he has earned his nickname.
But, it seems that these are the only qualifications needed to maintain his popularity and support from his fans.
Marshawn has once again been fined by the No Fun League for not speaking with the media, an issue that has plagued the star running back for years. More recently, he has been fined for making an obscene gesture, grabbing his crotch after scoring a touchdown. At this point, he has racked up fines exceeding $100,000 dollars for either not making himself available, or by not engaging reporters during interviews or press conferences.
There have been a variety of reasons given for his attitude or absences, ranging from being introverted, to his back being injured. Fair enough, only he can truly know. Who are we to judge, assuming that these reasons being given are factual, right? Right . . . because his interaction has been so endearing to the media previously.
For what it’s worth, his teammates have always noted that Lynch is a good guy and is simply misunderstood. He and his cousin Josh Johnson also have a foundation, Fam 1st Family, with a Mission Statement which includes “..one of empowerment and education, aiming to build self-esteem and academic learning skills in underprivileged youth.” That’s sincerely a good cause, and they both should be commended.
So, Marshawn Lynch is misunderstood. Certainly there might be a clinical diagnosis, the same way there was for Ricky Williams after he was chastised and ridiculed for making what the public had determined was questionable choices, and wearing his helmet during interviews.
Now Marshawn has resorted to showing his disdain for the fines, and the league, by grabbing his crotch in protest, for which, he is fined. That’ll show e’m, Marshawn. Not to mention it’s a great example for those underprivileged children you’re “empowering and educating.”
How exactly is this productive? To display an action deemed an obscene gesture by the league, and by a good portion of society, which will get him fined, in order to show contempt to the league for fining him for not holding up his contracted obligation, in which he’s paid millions of dollars to play a game in said league?
It is perplexing to say the least.
Not that he shouldn’t be allowed to be himself, and perhaps being forced to speak when not wanting to is a bit over the top, but again, he’s contracted to, and paid handsomely to simply play a game and play by their rules.
There should be no issue with self-expression, in fact, encouraging individualism can be healthy. But doing it in a manner that can be offensive to some people, and encouraging to the youth that look up to him to act the same, shouldn’t be confused with being “dedicated to uplifting and empowering youth,” as stated in his foundations Mission Statement. Is that what the outcome of such a fantastic foundation should be? Crotch-grabbing, smart aleck youths who don’t adhere to the rules of an organization, regardless of how well they’re compensated, even after they’ve been penalized? Sounds solid.
Some readers may think that might be an overreach, but as a public figure, and impressive Skittles eating NFL star with a huge fan base, is he not looked up to, and bound to be impersonated? Let’s not be naïve. Sure, maybe he shouldn’t be a role model, but to think he won’t be impersonated or that the youth that does look up to him would be able to decipher the difference in his actions and what they should be doing, is counting on something that simply doesn’t exist.
Some supporters have said, “hey, he has the cash to blow.” Not buying it. So, because he makes millions of dollars, it makes sense for him to give it back to the same multibillion dollar, tax exempt corporation whom he has been feuding with? Wouldn’t that amount of cash be better served in multiple ways?
From what has been written previously, it seems that Marshawn Lynch is from an area of Oakland where he would have had experience with seeing individuals and families that struggle with basic needs. Certainly being involved with his own foundation, he is aware that charities have CEO and upper management costs, board members, overhead costs and employees that absorb most the donations, and that the majority of aid doesn’t go to the folks who need it the most.
How many fans make minimum wage who can’t afford to go to a game? Minimum wage pays roughly $15,000 a year, $5000 less than his latest fine of $20,000 for showing his spite towards the league by grabbing his crotch just weeks after being fined over $11,000 for the same offense. Two fines, two full year’s salary for a minimum wage employee.
For those readers who scoff at the notion, consider whether you have ever had a minimum wage job and had to try to live off of $15,000 a year, and how something as basic as going to a professional football game isn’t even considered, and Mr. Lynch thinks it’s worth disgracing the game over. Nice. How about putting a veteran and their family in a luxury suite for a game, or maybe paying for the latest prosthesis they’re in need of? Nope, he’d rather grab his “manhood.” More like grown boyhood.
So, Marshawn Lynch is just misunderstood. Was he misunderstood when he had his driver’s license revoked for striking a pedestrian with his vehicle around 3:30 a.m. in 2008 in Buffalo’s bar district and leaving the scene, later saying he didn’t realize he had struck anything or anyone, or apparently a human?
I wonder what was misunderstood about his conviction in 2009 for having a concealed firearm. Or whether his DUI conviction in 2012 seem to paint a different picture for that night of confusion in 2008?
There can be many reasons for people to be misunderstood, and when they are under public scrutiny, that can certainly be the case. It is very possible that Marshawn Lynch is, and has been misunderstood, and this pattern is just a misinterpretation. There is no doubt that his foundation is a positive one.
But one thing is very clear, while Marshawn is wasting his money foolishly by putting it back into the hands of the people he is quarreling with, he could be handling his manhood instead of playing with his boyhood.
Photo Credit(s): Elaine Thomson/Associated Press
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