Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch says he'll match funds raised by his fans to pay his NFL-imposed $50,000 fine and then give the money to charity.
Seahawks fans started a fundraiser this week after the league fined Lynch for not speaking to the media this season. NFL rules state players must make themselves available to reporters at least twice a week during the season. Lynch briefly spoke to reporters last Friday, but that was apparently it for 2013.
When word of the fine came out, many Seahawks faithful were livid and let their thoughts be read on Facebook.
“This is by far the stupidest thing I have ever heard,” wrote Karley Kincaid.
“I think everyone going to the game sat should donate a dollar to the ‘lynch doesn't have to talk to the media fund’. 12's got your back,” wrote Melissa Dauenhauer.
A fan named Loren Summers has started a gofundme.com page titled “12th Man for Marshawn Lynch” with a goal of raising the $50,000 to pay “Beastmode’s” fine.
"Does Marshawn need this money? No. But I think it would be a good time to let Marshawn know, that we don't need his interviews or his thoughts to appreciate the amazing talent he is, and the contribution he makes to our team," wrote Summers.
The idea of the fundraiser drew even more criticism from fans on social media. Many said that, while they disagreed with the fine, they felt Lynch did not need the money. According to sportrac.com, Lynch is in the second year of a 4-year, $30 million contract which includes $17 million guaranteed.
But Lynch has stepped up, posting on his Twitter account Monday that he will match the money that is raised and send it to charity.
As of Tuesday morning, fans had raised over $9.500.
Summers says it's an "all or nothing" campaign, so if the $50,000 goal isn't reached, nobody will be charged.
NFL fines already go to charitable organizations that are agreed upon by the league and the players' union, according to a 2010 Associated Press report. Money also goes to a fund for retired players.