A friend sent me this video on Thursday:
Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch is currently serving a one-game suspension for putting his hands on a referee during a game against the Kansas City Chiefs on October 19. Suspended players aren’t allowed to practice with their teams, so Lynch visited his high school alma mater this week to practice with them.
The kids at Oakland Technical High School probably thought it was great to have Lynch on the field with them. To be a part of the group that tackled Beastmode on a run…Wow! Those players will never forget the experience.
However, there are reasons why we don’t see the other 1,500-plus NFL players doing what Lynch did at their old high schools. Some are written rules governing high school sports while others are plain common sense. Let’s examine a few.
Marshawn Lynch is a grown man. More than that, he is an NFL player, which means he’s faster and stronger than most grown men. He should not be on a field stiff-arming kids. One or more of them could have been seriously hurt and he wouldn’t have had enough sorrys.
Schools usually have no problem allowing successful alumni to come back and interact with current students. They do, on the other hand, want alums to follow established policy. You can’t just show up anytime you want and do whatever you want.
Specific to sports, only high school kids can practice or compete on high school teams. Surely, some coach somewhere has had the bright idea of getting college players or adults to come in and hit with his team. The thought process is if high school kids can stand up to adults tackling them, then they should be tougher against high school opponents.
That kind of thinking risks student safety and creates a huge legal liability for the school district. The Oakland Unified School District said Lynch broke their high school league rules by participating in the practice and Oakland Tech administrators didn’t know he would be there, either.
The bottom line is Lynch got suspended and decided he wanted to get some practice time in. He probably called Oakland Tech’s coach who was willing break the rules to accommodate a celebrity. Unfortunately, the school and the coach will likely suffer the consequences.
Lynch will return to the Raiders on Monday and be eligible to play against the Miami Dolphins on November 5.