Players call on NFL to revisit media policy

Fri Jan 30, 2015 3:42pm EST
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By Frank Pingue

PHOENIX (Reuters) - Marshawn Lynch may not have made any friends with Super Bowl reporters given his reluctance to answer questions but he has plenty of support from current and former players who feel the NFL should revisit its media policy.

The Seattle Seahawks running back, who earlier this season was fined $100,000 by the NFL for his decision to continually avoid the media, made headlines this week for his "I'm here so I won't get fined" stunt on Super Bowl Media Day.

"I don't think it's fair to force someone to talk if they don't want to talk," two-time Super Bowl winner Deion Branch, who is promoting TGI Fridays Happy Ever Hour, told Reuters. "I don't know what you are going to get out of someone who makes enough money to pay the fine."

The National Football League's media policy mandates that players must be available to reporters during practice weeks and following all games.

"I understand we have obligations and things that we have to do and we understand the rules, but I think it would be good for them to go back and revisit it," Terrell Davis, who won two Super Bowls with the Denver Broncos, said.

"But it's a delicate one because where does it stop? If he opts out and they say he doesn't have to do it, everybody else may raise their hand and say they want to do the same thing."

But not all NFL personalities were on Lynch's side as former head coach Tony Dungy, who led the Indianapolis Colts to a Super Bowl championship in the 2006 season, felt the running back should have owned up to his obligations.

"I have always told my players there are things that you may not like to do. You may not like to run gases, you may not like to lift weights, you may not like to block, but it is part of the job, so right now it's an obligation we have and we got to own up to it," Dungy said in an interview.

"You can't make it farcical, I think if you are going to do that, then don't be there and take the penalty for what it is. But right now the policy is cooperation with the media so you should cooperate."

Jan 27, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch sits at his podium during media day for Super Bowl XLIX at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports