It’s easy to understand why Bears running back Marion Barber doesn’t want to talk to the media right now: He was the goat in Sunday’s loss in Denver, with one costly mistake setting up the Broncos’ game-tying field goal, and another costly mistake setting up the Broncos’ game-winning field goal.
But NFL players are required to talk to the media whether they want to or not, and the NFL may fine Barber if he doesn’t talk to reporters soon.
Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times reports that Barber is expected to be fined for violating the league’s media policy after repeatedly refusing to talk to reporters, even after he was warned that that’s a requirement of his job.
Barber ran out of bounds when the Bears were trying to run out the clock at the end of the fourth quarter on Sunday, giving the Broncos just enough time to get the ball back and get into field goal range at the end of regulation. Then Barber fumbled in overtime when the Bears were already in range for a game-winning field goal, and the Broncos recovered and marched down the field for a game-winning field goal of their own. So it’s been a rough few days for Barber.
In fairness to Barber, it’s worth noting that he’s not the type to talk to the media under any circumstances. If Barber were a self-promoter when things are going well only to turn media-shy after a bad game, that would raise questions about his character. But Barber hates public speaking (Jerry Seinfeld would say that at a funeral, Barber would rather be in the casket than giving the eulogy), and he doesn’t like talking to the media when he scores the game-winning touchdown, either.
But the rules are the rules, and Barber is in violation of the rules. And the NFL is now expected to punish Barber for breaking the rules.