Marshawn Lynch Speaks, and it’s Wonderful

Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch rarely sits down to talks to the media. So when he does, we probably should pay attention to it.

That’s exactly what happened the day after Seattle’s overtime victory against the Denver Broncos on Sunday.

Lynch was interviewed by The Barbershop on 710 ESPN Seattle on Monday. He opened up about how his difficult upbringing has acted as a motivation to do community work in his hometown of Oakland, California and throughout the United States.

I feel that’s most important. To put a different light into their lives and let them know that they actually do have a chance.

Lynch was talking about his Family First foundation in Oakland, which helps underprivileged kids overcome the environment they are growing up in.

Here is a mission statement from the front page of its website. 

Fam 1st Family Foundation is dedicated to uplifting and empowering youth in the Bay Area and throughout the United States. The foundation’s mission is one of empowerment and education,aiming to build self-esteem and academic learning skills in underprivileged youth.

Lynch, one of the best all-around running backs in the NFL, has drawn a ton of criticism for his attitude with the media and a seemingly lone dog mentality since joining the league back in 2007.

But one thing is clear: he’s an impact individual off the field. In the interview on ESPN 710, Lynch talks about how difficult it was for him to grow up in the crime-filled streets of Oakland.

Most people told me growing up that I would either be dead or in jail by the age of 18. I have friends that didn’t make it to 18. I’ve got homeboys now that have been in jail since they was 16. This is something that I wanted to change in my neighborhood. I felt if I could influence one kid to try to help them through life, that’s a win for me.

Considering where Lynch came from, he’s doesn’t view himself as famous or extraordinary. And this could very well be one of the reasons he displays a standoffish attitude with the media.

Being in this position, I feel I was never meant to be famous so somebody wanted to keep tabs on me and follow my every move,” Lynch said. “That’s not something that I’m into. For the love and support, I appreciate that. But it might get a little bit out of hand with some people. At the end of the day, we shower and shave the same as everybody else does. That’s my perspective on it.

Through the Family First foundation, Lynch has been able to make an impact on the lives of those who grew up within the same environment as himself.

Stories like this help us forget about the drama surrounding football today. Lynch’s story is one of inspiration that is commonplace but almost always ignored when we focus on NFL players and how they succeeded, mostly in an uphill battle, to reach this point in their lives.

And they are stories that should be told.

Photo: USA Today