Just imagine having social anxiety and facing this
On the field, Marshawn Lynch plays like a giant. But under the glare of cameras, microphones, and countless reporters hurling questions his way, he shrinks down to the size of a frightened child. On Tuesday Marshawn Lynch was forced in front of a throng of reporters, a fifty-thousand dollar fine hanging over his head if he didn't comply. Unlike the day before, Lynch was not wearing a hoodie and sunglasses. He was exposed, and his extreme discomfort couldn't be more apparent. His leg shook anxiously as he did his best to answer questions.
And that's the point. This is the best Marshawn Lynch can muster -- another 6-7 minutes before climbing over chairs to escape the media circus. If you listen to Deion Sanders' interview with Lynch on Monday, or just watch the first couple minutes of his forced Tuesday appearance, it's obvious that Lynch is not sticking his nose up at reporters. He doesn't feel he's "too good" to speak to the media. He's simply not comfortable doing so.
To say that Marshawn Lynch is "snubbing" the media is painfully misguided. This isn't a case of a player ducking out of a locker room after a bad loss or stubbornly refusing to speak to reporters because he has personal issues with the stories that are written about him. This is a man with a specific anxiety, perhaps a phobia, and a certain point he just needs to be let off the hook.
Why are players required to speak to the media? Because, the NFL asserts, this is what the fans want. To shun the media is to keep the fans out. But in this particular case, the fans are saying they couldn't care less whether or not Lynch opens himself up to the media. They, especially Seahawks fans, are happy enough to see the prodigious effort he gives every Sunday.
Some would argue that by not insisting Lynch give interviews we are setting a dangerous precedent. Every single NFL player could block out the media, giving the avid NFL fan considerably less access to the game they love. The fact of the matter is, however, that for every Marshawn Lynch there is a Richard Sherman. We will never be completely shut out. In the case of Lynch, we simply need to show a little humanity. If another player comes along who is so clearly displays the same level of anxiety in the public spotlight as does Lynch, then yes, he too should be given a break.
Accept who this man is, appreciate his contribution to the game of football, and move on. There's not one fan out there clamoring for Lynch to be forced into the spotlight and made to answer inane questions, and therefore not one more thing needs to be written about Marshawn Lynch that doesn't have to do with the game itself.