Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll celebrates his players’ “uniqueness,” and running back Marshawn Lynch certainly stood apart from his teammates Tuesday, even as he faced a $500,000 fine from the NFL.
During the annual Super Bowl media day, Lynch answered every question with some variation of “I’m here so I won’t get fined.” He occasionally changed the delivery but stuck to his script.
Lynch stayed at his designated podium for 4 minutes, 51 seconds — over an hour less than all his teammates and coaches — and was asked 29 questions. At the 4:51 mark, he said “time,” stood up and walked away from the microphone.
Lynch had been threatened with a $500,000 fine by the NFL if he failed to make himself available on media day, a league source told ESPN’s Ed Werder.
An NFL Players Association executive monitored Lynch’s appearance Tuesday. About 200 reporters crowded around Lynch’s podium for at least 15 minutes before he arrived.
But Lynch wouldn’t answer any questions. He set a timer on his phone, caught a bag of Skittles tossed from the crowd and stopped to pick up a reporter’s recorder off the floor before he walked away.
NFL contracts merely require players to make themselves available to the media, an obligation Lynch apparently satisfied with his single answer.
His routine Tuesday was met by approval by Lions receiver Golden Tate, who is a former teammate of Lynch’s with the Seahawks.
Under the league’s media policy, Lynch will also face fines if he does not attend league-mandated sessions Wednesday and Thursday at the resort hotel the Seahawks are using for their team headquarters this week.
Team officials, league officials, officials from the NFL Players Association and Lynch’s representatives were in discussions this week about Lynch’s responsibilities. Even as late as Monday afternoon, when coach Pete Carroll and six Seahawks players were part of a media session at the team’s hotel, team officials were still uncertain about what Lynch would do Tuesday.
But at that time, Lynch had already been apprised of the potential fine. A year ago, at Super Bowl media day, Lynch showed up with a hood pulled up on his head, sunglasses on and said: “I’m just ’bout that action, Boss.”
Lynch was fined $50,000 in November for violating the league’s media policy, and at that time he was informed by the league that an additional $50,000 fine imposed last season would be collected. Lynch was also fined $20,000 by the NFL last week for an obscene gesture after a touchdown in the Seahawks’ NFC Championship Game win over the Green Bay Packers.
Lynch had been fined $11,050 in December for a similar gesture.