Marshawn Lynch will speak at Princeton, and some students are unhappy

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Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch has been chosen as Princeton’s Class Day speaker to address graduating seniors at an event the day before Commencement, and not every student is happy about that.

A group of students wrote a letter protesting Lynch as not up to par with the kind of speakers the senior class at Princeton was expecting.

“As seniors, we had been looking forward to the speaker announcement for months,” the letter said, via USA Today. “Many of us were disappointed when we saw that this year’s speaker was to be Marshawn Lynch, mainly because we did not feel included in the process by which this speaker was nominated and finally selected.”

Students seemed confused about why a player who was better known for refusing to speak was chosen as their speaker.

“Among articles that praised his NFL career and philanthropic contributions, we came across articles discussing Lynch’s reticence with the media and his terse responses at press conferences. In 2013 and 2014, for example, Lynch was fined $50,000 and $100,000 for refusing to speak to the media. During the 2015 Superbowl Media Day, Lynch famously responded to multiple questions with variants of ‘I’m just here so I won’t get fined.’ With no other frame of reference, such reports caused confusion over the set of criteria that led to his nomination,” the letter said.

Last year’s Princeton Class Day speaker was actress Ellie Kemper.

44 responses to “Marshawn Lynch will speak at Princeton, and some students are unhappy

  1. Heaven forbid these kids listen to someone with a different perspective of the world. Besides, I’d rather hear Marshawn Lynch than the secretary from “The Office”…not even Pam; the Pam replacement.

  2. princeton is an ivy league school. I would be pissed if i had to listen to someone spout about getting their ‘chicken’ among other incoherent nonsensical ramblings of someone who isnt going to take it seriously.

  3. mrf47 says:
    March 3, 2020 at 1:21 pm

    Heaven forbid these kids listen to someone with a different perspective of the world. Besides, I’d rather hear Marshawn Lynch than the secretary from “The Office”…not even Pam; the Pam replacement.

    ————————————

    Ellie (Pam replacement) Kemper is a Princeton alum.

  4. It really is a poor choice. Why does this school look for celebrities instead of people who understand success? I guess these Ivy league schools have pretty much become a place for bratty rich people so who cares.

  5. Heaven forbid these kids listen to someone with a different perspective of the world. Besides, I’d rather hear Marshawn Lynch than the secretary from “The Office”…not even Pam; the Pam replacement.

    ====
    I mean I agree with the different perspective thing but I mean the “Pam replacement” makes sense as at least she was an alumnus of Princeton. While I respect Lynch, for the purposes of addressing university graduates, I’m not sure how a dropout who earned his success through his physical gifts is the best choice.

    Either way, I wouldn’t think it’s a big enough deal to get all uppity and write a strongly worded letter about.

  6. The guy’s talent involves being difficult to tackle while running… what sort of wisdom is he going to impart on people who earn a living by using their brain?

  7. How much are the students parents paying for tuition there and this was the best they could do?

  8. In today’s world there are some people who make it their business to scrutinize everything and find issue with anything. And the willingness of the over-abundant media to make a story of it and of social media to give voice to everyone ensures we all hear about it.

  9. Can you imagine the complaints they would have gotten if they had chosen a Republican?

  10. Who cares? My commencement speaker was some old lady. I don’t remember a single thing she said. Universities bring in “names” for donors, not the students. These Princeton graduates are going to be just fine.

  11. People that don’t constantly babble are generally people who have something worthwhile to say. Maybe that’s why the University chose Lynch. It’s part of the education process. The outspoken kids might be the exact ones that will benefit the most from hearing Lynch speak.

  12. A D-list TV actress was okay, but a football player is a no-go? If last year’s choice reflected student input, not sure what their standards are.

  13. Objection “mainly because they we were not included in the selection process”. So then they should have objected to the process when it began. They knew a speaker would be named. It’s too late now. Perhaps they should focus on changing the Electoral College instead.

  14. @Chris K says:
    ====
    While I respect Lynch, for the purposes of addressing university graduates, I’m not sure how a dropout who earned his success through his physical gifts is the best choice.
    Either way, I wouldn’t think it’s a big enough deal to get all uppity and write a strongly worded letter about.
    ==============================================
    Do you also refer to golfers, tennis players and baseball players that leave college for their professional career? Or do you reserve that distinction only for football players. Marshawn left college to get drafted, to be a first round pick and go on to have a distinguished career. Amazing and disappointing to see how a narrative gets spun. Is it jealousy that he’s making more money than you can spell or is it deep rooted hate?

  15. Go watch any number of YouTube videos on Lynch, he’s very engaging.

    The basis for their unhappiness being the NFL fining him for not spewing cliches to a bunch of beat reporters, is pretty weak.

  16. What could he talk about? Perhaps philanthropy or starting his own business or the ability to relate to people of all walks of life, which is something sports can teach like no other vocation.

  17. These poor kid’s parents spent too much money and pulled too many strings for them to have to be subjected to this kind inhumane treatment. I shake at the thought of these disenfranchised kids, who will have nothing more than being networked for life, having to get over the PTSD of this atrocity! Shame on you Princeton! Imagine if some guy cost your daddy’s network a lot of money by refusing to speak now you have to listen to him at YOUR GRADUATION! The world needs empathy more than ever.

  18. To quote Polonius from Hamlet, “brevity is the soul of wit.”

    To paraphrase Polonius from Hamlet: Although this seems mad, there is purpose in it.A

    We shall see!

  19. Enough of bringing in white people to speak, how about a black male for once?

    Ooops! Got me, yeah, it’s a black male.

    Marshawn Lynch never had legal problems.
    He does charity work.
    And he threw line backers and safetys down on the ground.
    Sounds like a good choice to me.

  20. A bunch of white guilt liberals are upset that one of their inner city heroes that they worship, yet never lived around in their lives, is coming to speak to them? Wow the hypocrisy.

  21. If they were really interested in diversity they’d have invited a known conservative.Maybe Marshawn will surprise them.

  22. He’s been poor and rich. A nobody and a celebrity.

    He’s probably an interesting guy with a unique prospective over a wide range of topics.

  23. Princeton’s Class Day speaker to address graduating seniors at an event the day BEFORE…..Commencement

  24. I don’t blame them. It’s not like he was a model player. Good football player yes. I mean maybe he can lend insight to them about what to do when he was involved in a hit and run like he was in Buffalo. Well he is a running back so when he hit he ran. Maybe he can tell them about the benefits or marijuana. All of it is on the table. I wonder if they have the ability to proof read the speech. I bet they do. His degree in college was social welfare and according to the internet his nick name was “money” Sounds like a great choice

  25. So a bunch of upper-crust snooty ivy leaguers, most likely white, are upset that a black multi-millionaire athlete who came from nothing, that has saved his money, has been fiscally responsible, and is active in charities is going to talk to them? Folks make cracks above based on the fact that he doesn’t talk or look like them? Perhaps this is precisely the person that should be talking to these students — and probably half the commenters on this article.

  26. “A bunch of white guilt liberals are upset that one of their inner city heroes that they worship, yet never lived around in their lives, is coming to speak to them? Wow the hypocrisy.”

    Someone needs to turn off Fox News and take a few deep breaths.

  27. Successful self-made guy inside and outside the league with a unique perspective that he can share.

    I do wonder why so many in the comments has bought into the “It’s college so they must be dirty liberals” line of thought. Especially after all the conservatives supposedly disowned the NFL.

  28. Do the Opposite says:

    Can you imagine the complaints they would have gotten if they had chosen a Republican?
    ================================================

    I was at Princeton. The student body is actually about 50-50 left/right. The faculty, however, is probably 100 percent far leftists and most get paid money from China who has successfully infiltrated our education system.

  29. He is Somewhat unique in the NFL in that He has not wasted his money earned and in fact has retained most of it for later in life. He then came out and tried to spread that message to others in the league. Princeton grads will likely earn good money in their careers. Getting a message from others about taking care of their “chickens “ is a good thing.

  30. stampnhawk says:
    March 3, 2020 at 2:36 pm
    Go watch any number of YouTube videos on Lynch, he’s very engaging.

    The basis for their unhappiness being the NFL fining him for not spewing cliches to a bunch of beat reporters, is pretty weak.

    —————————————————-

    I agree 100% A lot of assumptions being made here about Lynch as a speaker and his “value” to the students. I guarantee they wouldn’t have booked him without having a good idea of what they were getting. His stance on speaking to the media when he was playing was entirely valid and justified. I have no issues with how he handled that. The NFL wants players to spew generic soundbites as often as possible. A guy refusing to participate in that nonsense is OK by me.

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