BY SPNW Staff 01:00PM 05/22/2014

Lynch: Right or wrong to shun White House?

Did Marshawn Lynch have an obligation to attend Wednesday’s White House ceremony? Or, was he right to shun the event? Weigh in by voting here.

Marshawn Lynch (24) opted to not attend the White House ceremony Wednesday honoring the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest

No one knew why Marshawn Lynch opted to blow off an opportunity to join his teammates in a White House ceremony Wednesday honoring the Seahawks for their victory in Super Bowl XLVIII. But his absence was notable enough to catch the attention of President Obama, who said he wished the four-time Pro Bowler had been on hand.

“I am sorry that Marshawn’s not here because I just want to say how much I admire his approach to the press,” Obama said, drawing laughter from the crowd. “I wanted to get some tips from him. It’s about the action.”

Lynch’s mother, Delisa Lynch, told The Seattle Times that her son didn’t attend the East Room fete because “he just didn’t want to go. No particular reason was given to me.”

While Lynch skipped the event, several ex-Seahawks who played prominent roles on the Super Bowl team did show, including RT Breno Giacomini, who signed with the Jets in free agency; WR Golden Tate, who signed with Detroit; and DE Red Bryant, who signed with Jacksonville after becoming a salary-cap casualty.

Delisa Lynch said she watched the ceremony and texted her son about Obama’s comments. Lynch reportedly responded “laughing out loud.”

Lynch typically shuns interviews and public appearances. In January, he faced a $50,000 fine from the NFL for refusing to engage the media throughout the season. When the fine was disclosed, just before the Seahawks hosted the New Orleans Saints in a divisional playoff game at CenturyLink Field, Lynch finally showed up for a mid-week Q&A at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center in an obvious attempt to avoid further financial penalties.

Lynch answered nine questions. None of his responses ran longer than a sentence. One response was one word.

In the days before the Super Bowl, the Pro Football Writers Association released a statement bemoaning the lack of access to Lynch, who finally made two appearances in front of cameras.

“I’m just here so I won’t be fined, boss,” Lynch said. “That’s the only reason why.”

When Lynch was threatened with the $50,000 fine — which was not invoked — Sportspress Northwest asked fans to weigh in on whether the penalty was fair, and whether the league should rescind it. By a margin of 91.02 percent to 8.98 percent, voters said the league should drop the fine. Many comments said the media “should leave Lynch alone” if he didn’t want to talk, and the league “had no business” fining players who elected not to speak, even though media cooperation is a fixture in the standard player contract approved by the players union.

Now Lynch has blown off one of the pinnacle moments in Seahawks — and Seattle pro sports — history, which begs the question:



  • jafabian

    Going to the White House is a privelage and a reward, not a requirement for the players. At this point it’s obvious that Beastmode has some sort of anxiety issues in large crowd situtations and meeting the President at the White House probably wouldn’t have gone over very well with him. Better he stepped away than to force the situation.

    I don’t understand why they have to wait until now to meet. You’d think the NFL and the White House would schedule this 2-4 weeks after the Super Bowl. I’d like to see actual Seahawks there, something that many of the players there no longer are.

    • art thiel

      Could be that the president has a tighter schedule, maybe with a few unplanned things like war, the economy, etc. Frankly, I’m amazed that presidencies indulge so many championship celebrations. I understand about upbeat photo ops, but still . . .

      • PokeyPuffy

        agree with jfabian, something is afoot with his anxiety in social settings. That said, showing up in force for Beacon plumbing commercials and not Presidential visits doesn’t jibe.

        His mom sounds awesome tho, and rather articulate compared to her son: “No particular reason was given to me.”

        • art thiel

          This may seem odd to all of us, but he doesn’t much like talking about football, and his relation to it. But he to talks to many, especially kids, about many subjects.

      • 1coolguy

        BO is always giving speeches, raising money and doing photo-ops, so his schedule isn’t pressed. He isn’t known for much Oval Office time.

        • jafabian

          They know years in advance when the SB is. They can schedule it closer. I agree with Art that these visits are unnecessary However they’re long standing traditions, like giving the President a turkey on a Thanksgiving and then he pardons it and gives it to a zoo or farm.

          • art thiel

            For reasons of security and unplanned events, they never book the president tightly beyond major int’l trips/conferences. And many of those trips happen quickly.

        • art thiel

          Clearly you know his schedule better than he does. I think you need to hire out as White House events planner.

      • K.j. Hinton

        Since that clown’s always got time for golf and taxpayer paid-millions wasted on vacations, there’s no need for you to defend him, Art.

        He could have scheduled this photo-op (Which face it, that’s all it is) for the week after the game if he’d felt like it.

  • RadioGuy

    This is just Marshawn being Marshawn. He’s obviously very guarded in public situations and there aren’t too many situations more public than going to meet the POTUS at the White House. I don’t see an issue here.

    • art thiel

      He said it best: It’s all ’bout that action, boss. Fun as it was for others, there was no action in the White House, or in the three days it consumed.

  • rosetta_stoned

    If he doesn’t want to go – and it’s not required – he shouldn’t have to go. Simple as that.

    • art thiel

      I don’t think the bosses or his teammates care, as long as he shows up at third-and-three.

  • Will

    Maybe if he’d been offered a bag of candy….

    • art thiel

      . . .or whatever he was having during the parade.

  • 1coolguy

    Lynch is an odd ball, let’s face it. This doesn’t surprise me.

    • K.j. Hinton

      Really? I consider it his gain. After all, he’d never get that waste of time back.

  • adams12

    It’s painful to watch how uncomfortable Lynch is in front of large crowds. Just let the man play football.

    • art thiel

      He did OK on top of the Duck during the parade. It’s not crowds.

  • K.j. Hinton

    Of course not. Lynch is a man and had I been on the team, I would have blown it off with him.

    • Effzee

      I’m sure that he would be glad to know you have his back. And are you saying that the rest of the players and coaching staff that did attend are not men? I’d love to see you tell Bruno Giacomelli, Kam Chancellor, et al what a waste of time they just participated in. Maybe that would prove what a man you are to them.

  • SEAbeliever

    OK so I follow Lynch’s mom and Lynch on Twitter and she said that they are mourning the death of a family member, and that’s the reason he didn’t go. PERFECTLY VALID to not go for your family, instead of listening to some guy who didn’t care about the Seahawks in the first place have his staff writers come up with some one liners. The parade was true Lynch fashion, front and center on the hood of one of the Ducks! PERFECT. 12th Man represent!

  • Jeff Shope

    screw obama he is not obligated to kiss his ring

  • whoKarez

    It’s his call. But not to open a can of worms…dig deeper and you’ll notice a pattern. He isn’t afraid of the press, cameras, or public scrutiny. He only avoids “the man” in a white world. Look at all the interviews he’s given in the past where he opened up. He avoids “boss” but not “brutha.” And let’s not forget the movie he is going to star in about himself.