I’ve started a new category. This one covers things that I read that are so absurd that I can’t NOT comment.
This one covers a news headline that made the morning news. I don’t follow the NFL on a regular basis, but in a world of spoiled, overpaid athletes, even this article left me ranting to no one but the television screen.
If you don’t want to read the article, let me summarize. The Seattle Seahawks has what seems to be a really talented player, Marshawn Lynch, who refuses to speak to the media. His failure to do so violates the NFL contract which states that players will talk to the media after games and pretty much whenever else the NFL says. While in some cases, he has been able to skirt the rules, he has been fined as much as $100,000 when he hasn’t. So now a fan who started a petition to get the NFL to stop requiring players to talk to the media.
I object to the description of the NFL enforcing contractual obligations as “bullying”. Bullying implies a perceived power imbalance and involves unwanted, unmerited aggressive behavior. This doesn’t even begin to qualify as bullying!
Semantics aside, what is this guy’s problem with talking to the media? Sure, the media tends to act like a pack of jackals, and I’ve seen quite a few press conferences where reporters ask questions that have such obvious answers that a robot could answer them.
Some have contended that he has an anxiety problem with large crowds or addressing audiences. That may be, but he entered the NFL knowing that dealing with the media would be part of the job. This isn’t the first NFL contract that this guy has signed. He has been in the NFL long enough that he knew what was expected. Trying to avoid his obligations now would be rather like me trying to avoid children while working at an elementary school. If I refused to talk to children because they make me uncomfortable or whatever, I wouldn’t be fined… I’d be fired, no matter how brilliant I am with the remaining aspects of my job.
It boggles the mind that his fans don’t see the insanity in the fact that they are defending (sometimes sending money to cover the fines) of a person who makes more money in one game than they do in a year… or even five years. According to Spotrac, this player makes $6,000,000 this year, and that’s before the signing bonus ($1.5 million), “roster bonus” (a half million), and miscellaneous other bonuses. (I highly recommend NOT spending too much time browsing that site. Those of us who work in schools will be depressed at how much these people make in comparison to people who do something more worthwhile.)