5-time Pro Bowler LeSean “Shady” McCoy added more fuel to the Colin Kaepernick fire when he responded candidly to reporters’ questions about Colin Kaepernick, saying he didn’t think Kapernick was good enough to make an NFL roster with all the non-football baggage that comes with the outspoken quarterback.
The reporters, like sharks that smelled blood in the water, kept pressing Shady until they got the soundbites they wanted. It’s not easy to be a celebrity athlete in 2017; everyone’s under the microscope all the time and the cameras are always rolling.
It’s clear that Shady is trying to tread lightly around this topic, but even tiptoeing makes too much noise. Just like Kaep has the right to express his opinion, LeSean McCoy has the right to express his. McCoy isn’t wrong, but he’s probably wishing he had just kept his mouth shut.
“It’s a lot more than just — he’s not on a team because of he doesn’t want to stand for the national anthem. I think it’s more than that. That may have something to do with it, but I think also it has a lot to do with his play.
“I’m sure a lot of teams wouldn’t want him as their starting quarterback. And then there’s the chaos that comes along with it. I mean, it’s a lot.”
LeSean McCoy on Colin Kaepernick
At no point does Shady say anything controversial, but in today’s hyper-charged, sensationalist media landscape, he’ll be both praised and crucified for honestly answering a question.
And it’s not like LeSean is pointing fingers from the outside looking in. He’s a 5-time Pro Bowler and led the league in rushing in 2013. The man knows football.
Marshawn Lynch figured out a long time ago the media wasn’t on his team, so he just stopped talking to them. While NFL players are contractually obligated to make themselves available to the media, there are ways around that.
Marshawn’s public image didn’t take a hit after he stunted on the media by answering every question with the same line, “I’m just here so I won’t get fined.”
It added to his mystique. Lynch is one handoff away from having a statue outside of CenturyLink field in Seattle. Even though he’ll be suiting up for the Raiders this year, he’s a living legend in Seattle. The fans there don’t remember him as “the assh-le who wouldn’t talk to the media.”
He’s Marshawn f–king Lynch, immortalized in Seattle’s pantheon of greatness with Ken Griffey Jr. and Gary Payton.
Why participate in a process that has absolutely no way of benefitting you? Unless you’re blessed with the Derek Jeter/Russell Wilson gene that allows you to say positive, non-controversial things all the time, talking to the media is a losing proposition for pro athletes.