Some Princeton University seniors are pissed that NFL icon Marshawn Lynch has been named guest speaker for senior Class Day.
Super Bowl champion Marshawn Lynch has been revealed as the special guest speaker for Princeton University's senior "Class Day," an annual event that recognizes class members for their contributions ahead of Princeton's Commencement ceremony. While many would consider Lynch to be a far more entertaining and memorable speaker than any other potential option, there are some Princeton students that are up in arms about the whole thing.
Alika Jenner/Getty Images
According to reports, a group of seniors penned a letter to the university voicing their displeasure of the selection process, and actually complained about the number of fines Lynch racked up over the course of his career for refusing to speak with the media.
"As seniors, we had been looking forward to the speaker announcement for months," the letter reads. "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."
"On receiving the email about the speaker announcement, members of the senior class who were not aware of Lynch tried to learn more about his identity and relevance to our Class Day ceremony," the students wrote. "Among articles that praised his NFL career and philanthropic contributions, we came across articles discussing Lynch’s reticence with the media and his terse responses at press conferences. In 2013 and 2014, for example, Lynch was fined $50,000 and $100,000 for refusing to speak to the media. During the 2015 Superbowl Media Day, Lynch famously responded to multiple questions with variants of 'I’m just here so I won’t get fined.' With no other frame of reference, such reports caused confusion over the set of criteria that led to his nomination."
According to Princeton University's official website, the Class Day co-chairs issued the following statement regarding the reasons behind their decision to have Beast Mode speak at senior Class Day in June:
“Mr. Lynch’s sustained professional excellence is not the only reason we are excited to have him serve as our Class Day speaker. His substantive work in communities stands alongside his on-field success,” the students said. “Our goal was to invite a speaker who embodies the various experiences we have shared as a community during our Princeton tenure; someone whose professional and personal passions speak to the service-focused and intellectually rigorous interests core to the University.”