After Marshawn Lynch was announced as Princeton’s upcoming senior “Class Day” speaker last week, some Princeton students expressed their disappointment about the speaker selection process that led to his nomination in an op-ed in the student newspaper.

“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 students wrote in the Daily Princetonian.

Not to be confused with Princeton’s commencement ceremony, the senior “Class Day” takes place a few days before graduation. The speaker is selected by members of Princeton’s senior class, who were appointed by their classmates to organize the event.

While their issue is more about how Lynch was selected, the letter brings up that students who didn’t know Lynch came across his history with the media as much as “his NFL career and philanthropic contributions.”

“Among articles that praised his NFL career and philanthropic contributions, we came across articles discussing Lynch’s reticence with the media and his terse responses at press conferences,” the letter said. ” … With no other frame of reference, such reports caused confusion over the set of criteria that led to his nomination.”

The original announcement touted Lynch’s “substantive work in communities” and that he was “someone whose professional and personal passions speak to the service-focused and intellectually rigorous interests core to the University.”


In a career where his peers often deal with post-career money problems — and a league where 78% of players go bankrupt within two years of retirement, according to Sports Illustrated in 2009 — Lynch has been outspoken about saving money for retirement.

After the Seahawks’ loss to the Packers in the playoffs earlier this year, Lynch gave similar advice to his teammates in a postgame news conference.

“While y’all in it right now, take care of y’all’s bodies, take care of y’all’s chicken, take care of y’all’s mental. Because, look, we ain’t lasting that long,” Lynch said. ” … Take care of y’all mentals, y’all bodies, y’all chicken, so when y’all ready to walk away y’all walk away and you’ll be able to do what y’all want to do.”

Lynch returned to the Seahawks in December for three games, rushing for 67 yards on 30 carries with four touchdowns. He’s now a free agent and isn’t expected to return to the Seahawks, but coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider didn’t rule out a return last week at the NFL combine. Lynch will also star in HBO’s new season of “Westworld,” premiering this month.