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Grant Cohn: Why mute Marshawn Lynch is wrong (w/video)

  • Seattle Seahawks' Marshawn Lynch stands against a wall during media day for the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Lynch took a vow of silence this season, did not talk to the media at all. The NFL fined him $50,000, but rescinded the fine hoping Lynch would participate in interviews before the Super Bowl. If he did not participate, the NFL would fine him $100,000.

So, he participated. Sort of.

On Tuesday, Lynch walked away from reporters after mumbling short answers to their questions for fewer than seven minutes. The NFL did not fine Lynch. It supported him. Its official statement was, "Players are required to participate and he participated."

The Professional Football Writers of America flipped and wrote its own official statement: "(We are) extremely disappointed in the lack of meaningful access to Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch at the Super Bowl XLVIII media day on Tuesday. Several of our long-standing and high profile members were appalled by Mr. Lynch's conduct and refusal to answer any questions. We find the statement by the league to be an affront to our membership."

Lynch didn't care. On Wednesday, he was even worse than he was on Tuesday. It's like he developed lockjaw. Fullback Michael Robinson and backup running back Robert Turbin sat next to Lynch during the interview and tried to loosen him up. Nothing doing. Lynch mumbled, "I'm just here so I don't get fined."

Robinson, trying to bring out the humanity in Lynch, pretended to be a reporter and asked Lynch a question: "What do you think of your fullback? I hear he's a cool brother."

All Lynch said was, "No."

Lynch garbled responses to a couple more questions, and then Robinson entirely took over the interview, became Lynch's designated talker. Call him the DT.

Robinson tried to answer questions using Lynch's words.

Why doesn't Lynch doesn't like talking to the media?


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