Marshawn Lynch exits session again
Does Media Have A Right To Be Upset With Lynch?
JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- Marshawn Lynch again lasted less than seven minutes during a mandatory Super Bowl media session, climbing over chairs to get away from reporters Wednesday morning at the Seattle Seahawks' hotel.
One day earlier, during media day at the Prudential Center in Newark, Lynch answered questions for 6½ minutes before gravitating toward the back of the fenced-off interview area. The star running back spent the rest of the Seahawks' availability that way, his eyes hidden by sunglasses and his head covered by the hood to his sweatshirt.
It was a slightly different story Wednesday, as Lynch was sporting headphones and the sunglasses were absent -- making it easier to see how uncomfortable he is with the entire process.
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• SN: Lynch goes "Least Mode"
"I appreciate it," Lynch said of the media's presence and desire to speak with him. "But I just don't get it.
"I'm just here so I don't get fined."
This isn't unique to the postseason. Lynch didn't speak with reporters during the regular season and nearly drew a $50,000 fine as the Seahawks prepared for their divisional-round playoff game.
Lynch lasted 6 minutes, 47 seconds on Wednesday, climbing over chairs to exit because he was blocked in by fellow running backs Robert Turbin and Michael Robinson, who were sitting next to him at a table during an interview session conducted in cramped quarters.
Robinson was first to arrive, even calling Lynch, his good friend, to try to lure him to the interview table.
"He didn't answer," Robinson said. "He know what I'm calling for."
Lynch was next to arrive, sitting in the middle chair. After a few brief replies from Lynch, Robinson began answering questions for his friend -- using the running back's "Boss" figure of speech to end each sentence.
When Turbin arrived a few minutes later, Lynch reacted in an agitated fashion.
"Why you wanna block me in, brother?" Lynch asked Turbin.
Lynch created a stir Tuesday at media day, although the NFL indicated that he might not be fined.
"Players are required to participate and he participated," league spokesman Greg Aiello told ESPN.com.
The Pro Football Writers of America, however, was not satisfied with Lynch's actions Tuesday.
In a statement released Wednesday morning, the PFWA said it is "extremely disappointed in the lack of meaningful access" that Lynch gave reporters during Tuesday's session.
"Several of our long-standing and high-profile members were appalled by Mr. Lynch's conduct and refusal to answer any questions," the PFWA said in the statement. "We find the statement that by the league that 'Players are required to participate and he participated' to be an affront to our membership.
"However, we are encouraged that the league will continue to closely monitor this situation."
When the NFL opted not to collect Lynch's $50,000 fine in early January, it did so with the understanding that Lynch would comply with the league's policy regarding media availability. Whether Lynch's interview sessions this week are considered compliance is sure to be a topic of debate.
The final media availability sessions for players will be Thursday. The Seahawks face the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday night at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford.
I appreciate it. But I just don't get it. I'm just here so I don't get fined.” -- Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch, on attention he receives from the media
Upon Lynch's arrival Wednesday, the first question was a reference to the star running back's nickname.
"Can you define Beast Mode and what it means to you?" a reporter asked.
"It's just a lifestyle," Lynch said, before glancing down to notice that Robinson was holding a mobile phone, reporter-style.
"Hey, I wanna hear something too, bro," Robinson said, eliciting a grin from Lynch.
Robinson, a fullback, then took over, trying to coax a quote or two from his teammate.
"Hey, what do you think of your fullback?" Robinson asked. "I hear he's a cool brother."
"No!" a grinning Lynch said.
What followed were a few more questions and brief, barely audible answers. That was Robinson's cue.
"I'm gonna slide up in this thing right now, just to break the monotony a little bit," Robinson said. "You can direct your questions to me."
And so it began.
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A reporter asked Robinson how Lynch felt about his media responsibilities.
"He hasn't talked to you guys most of his life," Robinson said. "I think he just said that. He just wants to play ball -- Boss."
Another reporter repeated the question of how Lynch defines Beast Mode.
"It's a lifestyle -- Boss," Robinson replied.
Robinson also was asked how Lynch feels about Skittles.
"He loves his power pellets before the game -- Boss," Robinson replied.
Lynch grinned, shook his head and rubbed his face throughout Robinson's routine.
Lynch answered a few more questions himself, claiming his reluctance to give interviews has nothing to do with being misquoted and that teammate Richard Sherman isn't going to teach him to be more talkative.
Regarding the fines, Lynch says the media are trying to take something away from him.
Reminded that the league, not the media, issues fines, Lynch said, "It starts somewhere," referring to this month's complaints.
Eventually, several people were talking -- and none of them were Lynch. Somebody from the back of the group yelled, "Hey, Marshawn! Hey, Marshawn!" -- and that was it. Lynch left.
ESPN.com NFL editor Lyle Crouse contributed to this report.
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