clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Marshawn Lynch putting his hands on an official wasn’t good. But there’s more to it.

Lynch went out there with the right intentions and didn’t seem to realize who he had grabbed.

Kansas City Chiefs vs Oakland Raiders Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Marshawn Lynch was ejected from the Raiders’ win over the Chiefs on Thursday Night Football after shoving an official. It was a game so good that it made people forget about the controversial ejection, even if it was only for five minutes.

But what Lynch did on Thursday night wasn’t as big of a deal as some will make it out to be.

Lynch ran onto the field after a third-and-10 in the second quarter. The play appeared to be finished, but Marcus Peters got an extra lick on Derek Carr after the play was blown dead. It caused a scuffle between the Raiders and Chiefs, prompting Lynch to get the teams to stop:

Not only was Lynch defending his own teammates, but he was also likely trying to get his mentee, Peters, out of the scrum. Peters is a native of Oakland, just as Lynch is, and the two are close. They even rode the Bay Area commuter train home together after the Raiders’ win, and had fun doing it.

It was a relationship that NFL scouts saw as a “red flag” when Peters was coming into the NFL — which is incredibly ridiculous, and yet a predictable take.

Lynch has been a player who the NFL and some fans find to be a complicated figure, because he’s unapologetically himself. The diving crotch grabs into the end zone, middle fingers, quiet press conferences (or none), sitting for the national anthem, and other Lynch actions don’t sit well with some people. A big part of that is not understanding him, and a larger part is not wanting to understand him.

Because of this negative and skewed view of Lynch, some are going to take his actions for what they appear to be on the surface — much like what has been done with the protests in the NFL — as opposed to taking a step back and observing everything.

He shouldn’t have put hands on that official.

But if we’re being honest with ourselves, if players can’t put hands on officials, then officials shouldn’t be able to put hands on players. In the video with Lynch, you can see where Lynch realizes whom he had shoved, but by then it was too late.

If players are able to do that, we’re not even having this discussion. But it’s unreasonable to expect another human being to feel aggression on them and not react.

The whole ordeal is going to be costly for Lynch, which should make Lynch’s detractors happy. Not only has he been suspended for one game, but ESPN’s Kevin Seifert detailed that Lynch could be fined north of $100,000. The minimum fine for making contact with an official is $30,387, and he’ll miss a $79,411 game check.

It’s obvious that he shouldn’t have grabbed an official, but Lynch went out there to separate teammates and a close friend of his.

To make it out that Lynch is some type of monster who should face a severe suspension or lose his job for defending people he cares about is irresponsible — and it’s ignorant.