Arizona Cardinals veteran LB Larry Foote believes Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch is setting a poor example for the same demographic of inner-city kids that Lynch’s Fam 1st Family Foundation in Oakland aims to serve.
Lynch’s refusal to comply with media interviews in the week leading up Super Bowl XLIX was the subject of huge attention, though it has yet to be punished by the NFL after the league fined him $100,000 during the regular season for not speaking to reporters.
His on-field behavior during the regular season and playoffs also cost him.
Lynch was fined $20,000 by the NFL for grabbing his crotch celebrating his fourth quarter touchdown run in the Seahawks NFC Championship win over the Green Bay Packers. In a Week 16 win over the Cardinals, he was fined $11,050 by the league for doing the same gesture at the end of a 79-yard touchdown run.
“He always mentions the foundation and what he likes to do for the city of Oakland,” Foote said Tuesday during an interview on 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh. “I’m from the same type of urban environment that he’s from.
“The biggest message he’s giving these kids — he might not want to admit it — is ‘The hell with authority. I don’t care, fine me. I’m gonna grab my crotch. I’m gonna do it my way.'”
To Foote, a Detroit native who played for the Steelers (2002-08), the Detroit Lions (2009) and the Steelers again (2010-13) before spending last season with the Cardinals, Lynch’s behavior is uncalled for because some children are likely to replicate it.
“In the real world, it doesn’t work that way,” Foote said. “It just doesn’t. How can you keep a job? I mean, you got these inner-city kids. They don’t listen to teachers. They don’t listen to police officers, principals. And these guys can’t even keep a job because they say ‘F’ authority.”
In the interview, Foote agreed to the host’s assertion that Lynch is the “anti-Jerome (Bettis).” The former Steelers running back was elected Saturday to the Pro Football Hall of Fame and was recognized this year as the Walter Camp Foundation Man of the Year Winner. As with Lynch, Bettis has a foundation — Bus Stops Here — that helps inner-city youth.
Said Foote of Lynch:
“He needs to really to check himself and understand that you’re really hurting these kids, you’re not helping them.”