By Maria Gerbic
Seahawks’ running back Marshawn Lynch stirred up controversy with impatient reporters during Super Bowl XLV’s media day. Lynch rarely speaks to reporters and prefers his privacy. He responded to each question he was asked with, “I’m just here so I won’t get fined,” in order to boycott his requirement to speak to the press on Media Day. The league fined Lynch $50,000 for media policy violations last season, which ensured that he wouldn’t get fined further. Unfortunately for Lynch, nicknamed “Beast Mode,” he might get fined anyways.
The league will investigate whether the hat Lynch wore, which displayed the logo for his nickname “Beast Mode” is permissible. The NFL restricts the promotion of brands and logos that conflict with league partners and sponsorships, and Lynch’s hat, advertised at $33 and sold out online, is no exception. Lynch’s stunt drew a lot of attention from media outlets Tuesday evening, and he followed up with more controversy the following day.
Marshawn Lynch took the podium for the second time on Wednesday, and the press was hopeful that he would answer some questions, contrary to his actions the previous day. He spoke for five minutes, listening intently to each question the reporters were asking. Several of the questions posed to Lynch were, “Isn’t this whole act a selfish move?” and “Why do you have to be such a jerk to all of us?” These questions attempted to provoke Lynch to defend himself, although that didn’t happen. Instead, Lynch changed up his response to, “You know why I’m here,” relating to his replies from Tuesday’s Media Day. Marshawn Lynch stood his ground throughout the five minute session, and gained backlash from the media.
The Professional Football Writers of America complained to the league about Lynch’s actions from Tuesday and Wednesday, and his teammates were quick to come to his defense. Seahawks’ center Max Unger described the running back’s behavior at Media Day as completely different as how he acts towards his team. Unger stated, “Unfortunately you guys don’t get a really good picture of who he is in the locker room and as a guy. He is the best. He has his own relationship with the media and you just have to leave it at that.” Seahawk’s quarterback Russell Wilson also defended Lynch, and considered the fines excessive. “There are times I don’t think he should be fined, especially to extent that people try to fine him.”
While many may consider Lynch’s behavior as immature and childish, it is just a minor incident compared to the overpublicized #Deflategate scandal, involving accusations that the Patriots played with deflated footballs against the Colts.