Marshawn Lynch selected to speak at Princeton, prompting group of students to write concerned op-ed

A group of Princeton students wrote an op-ed in the school newspaper expressing their displeasure with the selection of Marshawn Lynch as their “Class Day” speaker. The event wiill take place before graduation and highlight the accomplishments of honorary class members The main concern from the students was a lack of transparency in the process of choosing Lynch, and the fact that it was hard for them to discern a criteria set for speaker from him being selected.

“As seniors, we had been looking forward to the speaker announcement for months,” the letter begins. “Many of us were disappointed when we saw that this year’s speaker was to be Marshawn Lynch, mainly because we did not feel included in the process by which this speaker was nominated and finally selected.”

The letter then briefly goes on the complimentary path, noting Lynch’s on-the-field accomplishments in tandem with his charitable work around his community in Oakland and his social activism. It even notes that the students don’t have a problem with Lynch himself, just the process with which he was chosen.

However, the letter then points out that the last two speakers either had connections to Princeton, or were “exceptional communicators.” So much for trying not “to criticize this choice of speaker in particular,”

Actress Ellie Kemper and Senator Cory Booker are the two most recent speakers. Kemper graduated from the school in 2002, and Booker “is firstly associated with New Jersey and therefore Princeton,” which surely makes sense to someone.

Lynch’s connection to Princeton is virtually zero, so it’s clear why he is disqualified from that specific criterion. But there isn’t exactly a reasonable explanation as to why he failed the second point of not being an “exceptional communicator.” The letter cites his famous “I’m just here so I won’t get fined” presser before Super Bowl XLIX, and other past fines he received for not talking to the media. Perhaps the students believe that since Lynch was bad at talking to reporters, he will not succeed in speaking to a group of Princeton seniors, presumably after being fed whatever food is served there and staying in whatever fancy accommodations they provide for him.

In the second half of the letter, the students claim that “the selection committee did not represent a broad-enough range of perspectives” when choosing Lynch to speak at Class Day. But maybe the selection committee simply picked someone who could offer something different than what speakers past could.

Lynch is a five-time Pro Bowler who won a Super Bowl with the Seahawks in 2014 and will be a free agent starting March 18. In his 11 years as a pro, he has rushed for 10,413 yards and 85 touchdowns while spending time in Buffalo, Seattle and Oakland. Last season, he signed a contract with the Seahawks late in the year to play one regular season game and two playoff games.

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