Angry Princeton University students pen open letter after NFL star Marshawn Lynch is announced as their Class Day speaker saying ‘he’s not relevant’ and blasting his hostility to the media
- Some Princeton University students are upset Marshawn Lynch will be their Class Day speaker
- Lynch has been invited by the New Jersey university as a guest speaker for the senior class event in June
- Organizers cited his social activism and alignment with Princeton’s values
- Upset students shared an open letter, saying they did not ‘feel’ included in the decision and suggested the university be more transparent going forward
- They also said Lynch has no ties to Princeton, as past speakers have, and is known for not engaging with the media
- Neither Princeton University or Lynch have responded to the open letter
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Some students at Princeton University are upset that Super Bowl champion Marshawn Lynch will be the guest speaker at a graduation ceremony and have written an open letter to say so.
Princeton announced Lynch, 33, as the university’s Class Day speaker, scheduled for June, on Tuesday and attributed the choice to his social activism to communities across the country, including his home state of California.
‘[Lynch’s] substantive work in communities stands alongside his on-field success,’ the statement read.
‘From his stops in the Bay Area, to Buffalo, to Seattle, Mr. Lynch has always prioritized community engagement and empowerment by leveraging his prominence as a professional athlete to promote opportunities for civic engagement and social justice.’
NFL running back Marshawn Lynch (pictured) is scheduled to speak at Princeton University’s Class Day event on June 1, but some students were upset by the choice
A handful of students at Princeton University (pictured) wrote an open letter in the Daily Princeton pushing back against the choice
However, a group of students wrote an open letter for campus publication Daily Princeton and pushed back against the decision over claims that they didn’t feel ‘included’ in the decision process.
They wrote: ‘As seniors, we had been looking forward to the speaker announcement for months.’
‘Many of us were disappointed when we saw that this year’s speaker was to be Marshawn Lynch, mainly because we did not feel included in the process by which this speaker was nominated and finally selected.’
The open letter acknowledged that Lynch has taken several strides to uplift communities, but push back at organizers claims that he is ‘unapologetically embodied and advocated for our own identities and values.’
They specified that they were not directly criticizing Lynch so much as the ‘opaque’ decision process conducted by the university.
The open letter pointed out that Lynch has no apparent connection to the university, unlike past speakers like Senator Cory Booker, and it’s unclear how organizers came to their decision.
It was also mentioned that Lynch was previously fined around $150,000 by the NFL for refusing to speak with the media.
Lynch (pictured) is infamous for not speaking with media personnel and during the 2015 Super Bowl Day told reporters ‘I’m just here so I won’t get fined’
Lynch made headlines in 2015 during Superbowl Media Day where he famously responded to several media questions by saying ‘I’m just here so I won’t get fined.’
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In the end, the students acknowledge that selections with undoubtedly leave some students disappointed each year, but ask that Class Day Co-Chairs use transparency in their decision making going forward.
Neither Princeton University nor Lynch have publicly responded to the open letter.
It’s possible Lynch is currently preoccupied with a possible comeback to the Seattle Seahawks in 2020.
Coach Pete Carroll told News Tribune: ‘We’ll see…Never say never. I’m not going to rush him back to offseason, that’s for sure. That’s never been one of his strengths.’
Lynch retired for the second time in 2017 after playing with the Oakland Raiders for two seasons.
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