Marshawn Lynch goes for a skate with Akim Aliu and it's as entertaining as you'd imagine

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Arun Srinivasan
·Writer
·2 min read
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Marshawn Lynch playing hockey
'Shawn Gretzky' is ready to take over the NHL.

In another lifetime, Marshawn Lynch would’ve been one helluva hockey player. For now, we can only imagine what Beast Mode would add to the Stanley Cup-contending Colorado Avalanche.

Lynch, the former NFL star, joined former NHL player and anti-racism advocate Akim Aliu for a skate earlier this month and the results are predictably as entertaining as you’d imagine.

“It’s a whole different animal, bruh,” Lynch exclaimed as he did a lap in an Avalanche practice jersey.

Lynch never lacks confidence and offered a bold proclamation via Aliu’s Instagram story before taking to the ice.

“What’s his name, Wayne Gretzky? Y’all heard that nickname before? Well I’m Shawn Gretzky, know what I’m talking ‘bout!”

Aliu, a 2007 second-round pick of the Chicago Blackhawks, is one of the NHL’s leading anti-racism activists and a founding member of the Hockey Diversity Alliance. The 31-year-old shared his story of how he was racially abused by former Calgary Flames head coach Bill Peters during their shared tenure with the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs, casting a light on the toxicity of hockey culture more broadly. Aliu was also infamously hazed and ostracized by former Philadelphia Flyers forward Steve Downie while they both played for the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires.

Lynch retired from the NFL for good after the 2019 season following an illustrious career in which he earned five Pro Bowl selections, led the league in rushing touchdowns twice, and built a reputation as one of the toughest running backs to tackle in NFL history. Although Lynch is working on several projects at the moment, we’re all the way here for Beast Mode getting a look at the NHL — provided Aliu takes him for a few more skating sessions first.

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