Marshawn Lynch, in attempting to steer clear of media attention, has at various stages this season refused to fulfil media obligations or simply offer monotone, one word answer to questions.
Ironically these 'interviews' have actually led to more headlines for the Seattle Seahawks running back (as well as a $100,000 fine) but now the 12th man have made moves to protect one of their most cherished assets.
Standing by their man
As reported by CBS Sports, Seahawks fans have created a petition calling for the NFL to take action to prevent the "bullying" of Lynch - urging the league's decision makers to address and adapt their current media policy.
At time of writing, the petition, entitled 'Enough is enough! Stop Bullying Beast Mode!', has 49,885 signatures.
Having been fined $100,000 for his failure to meet NFL media obligations Lynch has taken to repeating stock phrases in a bid to complete his duties as quick as possible.
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Now the petition's creator Wendi Bromli has made her position very clear:
"As a 12, I am calling on the NFL to revise its media policy so that all players are given equal and fair rights as a human being without fear of financial intimidation.
As a fan, I have witnessed enough harassment and undeserving consequences regarding Marshawn Lynch due to his very obvious anxiety interacting with the media. I feel, and many agree, that what you are doing is wrong. You advocate against bullying and domestic violence, but force your players into uncomfortable situations? With a fine attached? There are other players willing to talk to the media and it should be a personal choice.
Your rules state "Reasonable cooperation with the news media is essential to the continuing popularity of our game and its players and coaches." I don't feel your rules are reasonable as they read currently, considering the only benefit "popularity" wise the NFL gets by bullying Marshawn is money out of his paycheck. This is not ok. And it needs to change because its unnecessary and cruel, as well as hypocritical.
Enough is enough!
Right or wrong
Lynch's aversion to the post-game media scrums has been clear for a number of seasons but not throughout his career. In his early days the RB completed his media obligations as any other player but clearly has become fed up with the situation.
In fairness to Lynch, and the petition, it does seem unorthodox of the NFL to insist that players complete such tasks - seemingly against their will in some cases - but at the end of the day answering two or three questions in a simple manner would avoid the recent hoo-hah.
Lynch has been recognized as an open and friendly character by teammates and coaches and throws himself into charity work away from the cameras.
As such it truly does seem that it is the specific game-time interview situations which leave him wishing he was somewhere else. At least he now knows the Seattle Seahawks 12th man has his back.