NFL Secretly Fined Marshawn Lynch For Media Day Silence, Stephen A. Smith Makes It About Race
Stephen A. Smith wasn't a fan of Marshawn Lynch's famous refusal to answer Super Bowl Media Day questions back in February, so it's no surprise that he's in favor of the NFL's secret slap on the wrist.
Oh ya, in case you missed it, the National Football League harnessed their impeccable sense of justice and fined Marshawn Lynch $75,000 for not doing a sufficient job of talking to the media prior to Super Bowl XLIX (and told no one). Apparently showing up, sitting at the podium for five minutes and answering literally every question with "I'm just here so I won't get fined" wasn't enough to not get fined. Go figure.
[ProFootballTalk] Per a league source, Lynch has finally heard from the NFL about scheduling a hearing regarding a $75,000 fine imposed on him for not talking to the media after the NFC Championship Game against the Packers. If you don’t recall hearing about a $75,000 fine imposed on Lynch for not talking to the media after the NFC Championship Game, there’s a good reason for that. The fine had never been previously reported nor disclosed.
Smith is of the thinking that Lynch's behavior -- which many hailed as a righteous protest of the greedy NFL's repeated exploitation of their players -- sets the wrong example for young African Americans, specifically, who by Smith's estimation, need to learn that "we all must capitulate to some degree."
According to Smith, Lynch's influence over young African Americans makes his Media Day antics especially egregious. Huh?
"As a black man watching this brother conduct himself that way knowing a young dudes on the come up who are going to emulate that behavior and thinking it is going to work for them. they are not marshawn. they can't run a 4.3 in the 40. they damn sure ain't getting his money. how are you going to survive let alone prosper if you are conducting yourself that way? that's the issue here. you can't allow somebody to walk up there and so flagrantly buck the system while at the same time telling us these guys are role models and their actions are going to be emulated. they have to be cognizant of it before because it has a profound impact on fellas that come up who may decide to emulate the behavior and [you] give the impression that this is something you can get away with. you have to send an emphatic message, you will not get away with something like that. we all must capitulate to some degree."
Wow, why don't you tell us how you really feel?
"Is it just a black issue or a player issue?" Skip Bayless asked Smith, who was hitting level-10 Stephen A. Smith outrage. "I'm saying to you it is a player issue," he responded. "I'm expressing there are players who look like Marshawn Lynch and emulate him and they don't happen to be white, skip."
Sooo it is a black issue? I'm still confused.
Smith then added that he thought the fine should've been more because, once again, Lynch is black, which means he has to be an EXTRA good employee...or else! (This is some of the most unfair shit I've ever heard S.A.S. throw out there -- and I watch him every single day.)
"As far as I'm concerned, the appeal hearing should be about why shouldn't it be more than 75,000," he said. "You are getting away with this. Should be more. Double."
By that logic, every black player who missteps or makes a mistake should be punished more because of their disproportionate impact on the sense of right and wrong of African American youth. Ok. Continue...
"nobody has a right to go up to marshawn lynch and ask him about his personal life and expect him to have to answer. but if i have a question for you about the new england patriots in super bowl week, what is your problem? in i have a question about you running the football, what is your problem? this guy wasn't available to talk to the media when pete carroll passed on giving him the ball but he can talk to conan o'brien. come on, man. you've got to be kidding me."
So what's the problem here? Marshawn Lynch has an obligation to play along with the NFL's unnecessary media game so that black kids can learn that you're supposed to do what your employer tells you, regardless of any fundamental, justifiable issue you have with it? Is he just butthurt that Conan O'Brien is better at getting Marshawn Lynch to open up than him? Does he think Marshawn Lynch should've been fined more because he's black and, therefore (according to Smith's logic), has more influence on black kids? Whatever his motivation, it had him firing on all cylinders for close to ten minutes.
Watch the clip from Wednesday's "First Take," below.
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