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NFL commissioner says Marshawn Lynch has to talk to the media whether he likes it or not

Jan 30, 2015, 1:13 PM | Updated: 1:40 pm

“It is part of your job and there are things that we all have to do in our jobs that we may n...

"It is part of your job and there are things that we all have to do in our jobs that we may not want to do," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Friday of Marshawn Lynch's refusal to speak with the media. (AP)

(AP)

After enduring a week of Marshawn Lynch making a mockery of the NFL with his combative Super Bowl media sessions, commissioner Roger Goodell says Lynch has to talk to the press whether he likes it or not.

“I’ve been very clear that when you’re in the NFL you have an obligation, an obligation to the fans. It is part of your job and there are things that we all have to do in our jobs that we may not want to do,” Goodell said during his annual state of the league press conference conference in Phoenix Friday.

Related: Marshawn Lynch gets combative in final Super Bowl media appearance

Lynch dominated coverage throughout the week with his brief but testy league-mandated media sessions. On Tuesday, he repeatedly answered every questions with “I’m just here so I don’t get fined,” leaving the podium after the required five minutes.

On Wednesday he limited his response to “y’all know why I’m here”, while on Thursday he lashed out at reporters for continuing to crowd around him and requesting interviews.

“Hey, look, all week I done told ya’ll what’s up. And for some reason, ya’ll continue to come back and do the same thing that ya’ll did,” he said. “I don’t know what story ya’ll trying to get out of me, I don’t know what image ya’ll trying to portray of me, but it don’t matter what ya’ll think, what ya’ll say about me, because when I go home at night, the same people that I look in the face – my family that I love – that’s all that really matters to me.”

But Goodell said in response Friday speaking to the media is not only a contractual obligation, “it comes with the territory and it comes with the privilege of playing in the Super Bowl.”

“I think Marshawn understands the importance of the Super Bowl, the importance of his appearance and the importance of him as an individual in this game,” Goodell said. “And fans are curious, fans want to know. The media would like to make that story clear to our fans.”

Goodell was also asked about reports Lynch could be fined for wearing his Beast Mode baseball hats throughout the week because they are not licensed by the NFL – a violation of league policy.

“Our staff will probably look at that following the Super Bowl as they have in the past,” Goodell said.

As for Lynch, we can be certain he won’t have a response. He’s fulfilled the league obligations and won’t be making any more media appearances before Sunday’s game.

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