Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
Maybe he is shy. Perhaps he doesn’t like to use the same old phrases such as “Take it one game at a time.” The reason for his silence doesn’t really matter. What matter is that the NFL wants their players to have dialogue with the beat reporters.
Lynch’s silence just cost him $50,000. For us common folk, that is a lot of money. Assuming that Lynch has managed his money with some amount of wisdom, he can afford the fine. If he really doesn’t like the postgame interview, he may gladly scratch out the check.
Look, I get it. The NFL is a business. There is a vicious cycle between teams, media outlets and fans. Each thinks that they drive the bus, but in reality it takes all three parts to make this happen. Without athletes, there are no games. Without media outlets, there is no coverage. Without fans, there is no money.
The NFL has the right to fine Marshawn Lynch or anyone else that violates written policy. After all, he may be making millions but he is still an employee. Lynch has an employee handbook just like everyone else.
That said, this fine is a little silly. Nothing against Lynch, but have you listened to some of these postgame interviews? Short of a few athletes that have particularly cunning lexicons, many of them are pretty boring.
I propose that the NFL allow each team to designate 2-3 players that are on the “silent” list. Make it similar to the franchise tag system. Along with players that are franchise tagged, teams can also select a few players that are allowed to skip the interviews. There are more than enough players that are happy to share their thoughts.
Or, Lynch could talk to the media and answer every single question with, “Go Seahawks!”
Sorry, Mr. Lynch, your wallet just got a bit lighter. If you don’t want to talk, that’s cool. Just keep running the ball between the tackles and you can be as silent as you want.