Princeton Students Criticize Selection of Marshawn Lynch as Class Speaker


Unlike the media, some Princeton students don't want to hear from Beast Mode.

A group of students at the Ivy League school wrote a letter in the student newspaper criticizing the selection process that has Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch speaking on "Class Day."

Based on trends in previous selections of Class Day speakers, a common thread seems to be that past speakers either share a connection with the graduation class as Princeton alumni or are widely regarded as exceptional communicators.

The op-ed was published two days after it was announced Lynch was the speaker. The students took particular issue with the idea he was selected to represent the student body.

However, saying that Lynch has “unapologetically embodied and advocated for our own identities and values” (as stated in the University’s official Instagram post) without officially consulting us, the Princeton community, is paradoxical and thus questionable.

The quote was taken directly from the official Instagram announcement.

The letter mentions Lynch's embattled relationship with the media and points out he was fined over 150-thousand dollars in his career for refusing to speak with reporters. He infamously answered questions at the 2015 Super Bowl media day with variations of "I'm just here so I won't get fined."

Beast Mode helped the Seahawks to two Super Bowls, winning one. Last season, he came out of retirement to help the injury-riddled running back room in Seattle. The 12-year veteran University of California, Berkeley, and has been involved in outreach programs that involve football clinics overseas. In 2018, he launched a program to give smartphones and cell services to those facing homelessness.