On Wednesday, the NFL fined Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch $100,000 for failing to comply with the league’s media policy. On Thursday, Lynch’s agent informed PFT that Lynch will appeal the fine.
Agent Doug Hendrickson told PFT by phone that Lynch, who was so banged up after the first half of the game that he didn’t go to the locker room, was even more banged up after the game ended. Lynch changed quickly (as he always does), and then he went to the team bus and laid down.
Lynch, according to Hendrickson, then realized he had skipped out (as he usually does) without talking to reporters. So Lynch immediately called Hendrickson. Here’s the conversation, as recounted by Hendrickson.
“Dude, I screwed up,” Lynch told Hendrickson, referring to the failure to talk to reporters before leaving the locker room.
“Go back in,” Hendrickson replied.
“I can’t even move,” Lynch said. “My back’s killing me.”
Lynch then suggested talking to Mike Silver and Michael Robinson of NFL Media as an alternative to returning to the locker room.
In the end, Lynch’s interview with Silver was far more meaningful than any perfunctory remarks he would have made while trying to get out of the locker room and to the bus. That point surely will be made during the appeal.
Another point that should be made will be that, routinely, the things players and coaches say during mandatory media availability are meaningless. From “on to Cincinnati” to “day to day” to “I’m just trying to be a good teammate” to “focusing on San Francisco,” the spirit of the media policy routinely is violated.
Perhaps in the end the NFL will once again suspend all or part of the fine, with a commitment from Lynch that he’ll comply going forward.
That’s what happened after he was fined $50,000 last year. The league deferred collection of the amount, but vowed to reinstate the fine and to add another $50,000 if he violated it again.