TwistNHook: Marshawn went to the SB Media Day under reported threat of $500,000.00 if he failed to appear. He answered all questions with "I'm just here, so I do not get fined." What do you think about this? Is Marshawn a true American patriot or just a legend in his own time?
Nick Kranz: How I feel about Marshawn's reticence with the media would depend on whether or not he really does have some kind of diagnosable condition with social interaction. If he does, it's really a shame that he's being forced to participate, and I wholeheartedly support his efforts to avoid it. If he doesn't, then it just becomes a kind of silly sideshow that isn't exactly admirable, but is 100% hilarious and probably better for the NFL and Marshawn than either side would ever admit publicly.
Trace Travers: I don't understand the big deal. He doesn't like talking to the media. He likes letting his play speak for him. I think that's an admirable trait to have. It just seems like a bunch of people with an inflated sense of self-importance giving him grief, which takes away from the fact that we have an excellent matchup to watch on Sunday.
Reef: I guess I'll speak up and voice my contrarian view on this. I have had to do plenty of things in my work life that I did not think were essential to my "core" job duties. When I was a lawyer I had to represent the firm at local association and community things that I found no value in. As a teacher at a charter school, I have to attend numerous informational PR nights to describe our curriculum model. My employers placed value in these contributions, even if I didn't, so I went along because I wanted to have a job. Marshawn works, in part, for the NFL and if they place value in accessibility, then that's their right. If Marshawn doesn't want to participate or participate in an incomplete way, that's also his right. The fact that he is able to take the financial hit makes him quite fortunate -- many people would not be able to afford to defy their employer. So good for him for being in that position, but if the NFL wants to extract a price, I don't have a problem with it...that's just the marketplace, and people making choices.
LeonPowe: Just wanted to respond to reef, I don't disagree with his answer on number one, but it's not the process of being fined I disagree with, instead the scope and monetary amount seem to be arbitrary and unnecessary punitive. I, personally, think the non answers are hilarious and entertaining. But I've always been a fan of press conferences that aren't "normal." From practice?!, to playoffs?!, to crown em if you want, to both teams played hard to I guess we had good execution - I love press conference malarkey.
Avinash Kunnath: For everyone who is wondering why Marshawn and the media don't get along, this is a good piece to read. It's complicated and involves race relations between overwhelmingly suburban white media and urban black athletes.
I believe the NFL has the right to fine him if he does not answer their questions. That is perfectly within their means.
I also believe the NFL fining him the ridiculous amounts they do makes the organization looks like a caricature in their disciplinary policies, particularly when you related it to the various other personal misconduct issues players faced this season. Players who have committed domestic violence, have been pulled over for DUIs ($50,000 max fine), and who have tried to intentionally injure players are now being punished at the same (or even lower) baseline than a dude who won't give the media a few boilerplate answers to their reductive questions.
Additionally, the league and the media doesn't really see that the fines are really just boosting Marshawn's image and his brand. Marshawn's press conferences are must-see TV in a way that no other athlete can match. He can pretty much do things like wear an 'inappropriate' hat and profit from it (he could get fined half a million or whatever, his hat has already made a few million in sales and sold out on his online store). Marshawn's brand has taken a HUGE leap--he's already done the Skittles commercial and is now one of the most memed athletes of the modern era. (expect "Yeah" "Thanks for asking" & "I'm thankful." on CGB t-shirts at some point).
The whole thing is silly, but if it means more money goes to Family First (and I believe in the end Marshawn will profit plenty from all of this), I'm all for it.
TwistNHook: I WILL DEFEND MARSHAWN TO THE DEATH! I will not stand for anybody who dares impugn the good name of Marshawn! I've been a Marashawnthusiast since 2004 and will continue to do so! What is great about this is that his comments are an amazing critique of the sports journalist industry. I wrote about this in 2013. In there, I noted how basically sports journalists are getting run out of town by insane hobbyists such as ourselves. The sports journalists job is one so seemingly easy even *I* can do it! They show up to practices and provide their analysis of what they see. They try to cultivate sources (something a bit harder for bloggers to do, although we've scooped real journalists on at least two separate MAJOR firings). They ask questions at press conferences and try to provide analysis of the games/press conferences.
I doubt that Marshawn is trying to do some ironic critique of this industry, but by not talking, he is showing them how meaningless they are. Like most gate keepers, they are freaking out about losing their power. Look at how infuriated they are (keep in mind this is NOT a parody piece):
Sports journalists unite: It's time to boycott Skittles.
Don't let your kids eat them anymore. Forget about handing out those small packets for Halloween.
Skittles should be considered poison to any sports journalist who asks for respect in dealing with athletes.
You see, Marshawn Lynch's stance with the media has evolved from more than just not wanting to talk. It now is a marketing vehicle.
Skittles, which is part of Lynch's weird act, helped the Seattle running back's campaign to mock the media this week. It got Lynch to do a fake press conference. He munches handfuls of the candy sitting in front of a Skittles logo.
And this guy goes bananas because without the media nobody would apparently care about the NFL.
Marshawn Lynch's tired sphinx act masks the hard truth that without the media NFL players would be playing in a parking lot for $8 an hour— Brian Murphy (@murphPPress) January 28, 2015
NEWSFLASH, BRO, nobody cares about whatever meaningless quotes you got about the game. What's that? They gave 110%, oh wow! Unbelievable! Marshawn's performance art would make Marina Abramovich cry if she wasn't currently keeping silence in a locked outhouse suspended in mid air over a pit of balls!
So, you can have your opinion that he should get fined or that he should talk because it is part of his contract or whatever, but the bottom line is that this is bigger than just Marshawn, this is about the industry as a whole. It needs to fundamentally change if it wants to be able to stay alive.