It’s no secret to NFL fans that Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch does not enjoy speaking to the media. Lynch made headlines at the Super Bowl last year by being notoriously quiet, keeping his distance from the hoards of reporters.
Lynch is finding himself embroiled in controversy involving the media again this season, already racking up a $100,000 fine. The NFL has a policy which makes every healthy player available to the media throughout certain portions of the week, including after the games at lockers. Since being fined, Lynch has done the minimum, speaking to reporters but with consistent answers of “Thanks for asking” and “I’m thankful” among other things. It is uncomfortable for all involved, and Seahawks fans believe they have a way to fix the problem.
A Seattle supporter started a petition on GoPetition.com, hoping to persuade the NFL into exempting Lynch from its media policy, per Terry Blount of ESPN. So far, the petition has over 48,000 signatures. Below is the exact petition:
“As a 12, I am calling on the NFL to revise its media policy so that all players are given equal and fair rights as a human being without fear of financial intimidation.
“As a fan, I have witnessed enough harassment and undeserving consequences regarding Marshawn Lynch due to his very obvious anxiety interacting with the media. I feel, and many agree, that what you are doing is wrong. You advocate against bullying and domestic violence, but force your players into uncomfortable situations? With a fine attached? There are other players willing to talk to the media and it should be a personal choice.
“Your rules state, ‘Reasonable cooperation with the news media is essential to the continuing popularity of our game and its players and coaches.’ I don’t feel your rules are reasonable as they read currently, considering the only benefit ‘popularity’ wise the NFL gets by bullying Marshawn is money out of his paycheck. This is not OK. And it needs to change because its unnecessary and cruel, as well as hypocritical.
“Enough is enough!”
For those unfamiliar, Seahawks fans often refer to themselves as “12’s” because they are a twelfth man. In fact, the team retired the number 12 in honor of the fans, the first numeral given that honor by the franchise.
The NFL can’t bend for Lynch, because it will set a precedent. If Lynch is allowed to skirt the media without having to pay a fine, other players will start following suit. While Lynch seems genuinely uncomfortable speaking to reporters, it is unfortunately part of his job description. Something tells me the NFL will be unmoved by the wishes of Seahawks fans trying to shield Lynch from the media.