Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch does not want to speak with the media. The media wants Lynch to fulfill his league-mandated obligation to speak. Neither side is willing to budge.
And it is getting ugly.
Lynch, who avoided NFL mandated interviews with the Seattle media throughout most of the 2013 season, spoke for less than seven minutes on Tuesday. His session was scheduled to last an hour, but Lynch was the only player who reportedly cut his session short. NFL Network analyst Deion Sanders tracked down Lynch, but the running back did not say much.
As a result, D. Orlando Ledbetter, President of the Pro Football Writers of America released a statement on Wednesday, criticizing Lynch’s lack of media availability.
"The Pro Football Writers of America, the official voice of pro football writers fighting and promoting for access to NFL personnel to best serve the public, is extremely disappointed in the lack of meaningful access to Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch at the Super Bowl XLVIII media day on Tuesday. Several of our long-standing and high profile members were appalled by Mr. Lynch’s conduct and refusal to answer any questions. We find the statement that by the league that ‘Players are required to participate and he participated’ to be an affront to our membership. However, we are encouraged that the league will continue to closely monitor this situation."
The league threatened to fine Lynch $50,000 for not speaking this season, but refrained from punishing him if he complied with their rules. Seattle has two more media sessions this week, and Lynch could be fined $100,000 if he does not attend those league-mandated media gatherings.
Unfortunately, nobody will win this battle.
If Lynch does break down and fully comply, his answers will be bland. Lynch already has a disdain for the media, and being forced to speak does not help. The league wants their players to speak to promote upcoming games and events. If Lynch does not fulfill his obligation in the future, other players may follow his example, which could create more problems for the NFL.
Regardless, this situation is ugly.
Want to watch the Big Game ads? Check them out here:
- - - - - - -