There were a couple of interesting perspectives on the Marshawn Lynch situation from Rodney Harrison and Tony Dungy on NBC’s teleconference yesterday.
Harrison believes Lynch has a responsibility that goes beyond simply talking to the media.
“Obviously, I’ve been in a lot of locker rooms and I’ve dealt with guys that didn’t really want to deal with the media. When I look at Marshawn Lynch, I look at the tremendous platform and the opportunity that he has. He has a lot of people and a lot of kids looking up to him. As an African‑American man that has seen his grandparents not able to have that same platform or to even go out and struggle to try to get an education and get held back for not being able to do certain things, it’s just very frustrating to me when you have the type of opportunity that he has and not to utilize it. Because there are a lot of kids and a lot of young people that look up to him that he could really influence.
“So, yes, it’s important. It’s his job, but also he has a tremendous platform and opportunity to really influence the youth, and that’s what it’s about. As much as he may not think that he’s a role model. They’re kids, they love skittles because of Marshawn Lynch. They’re kids that are running in the backyard and trying to do different things that he brings each and every week. When you play in the National Football League, it’s not just about breaking tackles and scoring touchdowns, but it’s about representing your culture and representing everything that the people before you have worked so hard and struggled so you can have certain opportunities.”
Meanwhile, Dungy talked about his dealing with a media-weary Marvin Harrison in Indianapolis.
“Marvin did not like to talk. He was very quiet and a little afraid of the cameras. What I talked to Marvin about was it’s part of the job. It’s like lifting weights and going to meetings, it’s like practicing. It’s like playing in the game. It’s a part of what you have to do. Just go out there and do your best and we’re going to be fine. Marvin took that, and he was never one who was going to give long answers. He was never going to have his own press conferences. But he came around and did a good job. I think that’s how I would approach it. Every coach is different. Every player is different and their relationship with their players.”