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Lynch speaks out: Loretta and Marshawn

Caricature of SteveI was struck today by the public remarks of Loretta and Marshawn Lynch. Two persons who share the same name and race, but otherwise appear to have little in common.

America’s cultural contrast were on stark display as you first listen to what and how Marshawn Lynch spoke at the NFL-mandated news conference.  Then see Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch (no relationship) speak about her background and judicial philosophy.

Loretta Lynch is President Obama’s nominee to be the next Attorney General of the United States. She has endured two days of grilling by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

As I wrote in a separate Facebook post, Ms. Lynch is a highly intelligent, extremely articulate person. I have seen or read nothing that should disqualify her from being confirmed. Her resume and her life story are inspiring.

Marshawn Lynch is a Seattle Seahawks running back. His talent will be on display this Sunday when he and his teammates clash with the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX. He grew up in Oakland, California but refuses to discuss it.

Mr. Lynch is a man of few words. So few, in fact, that at an NFL-mandated Super Bowl media news conference this week he admitted that he was there only “so I won’t get fined.” A phrase he repeated for the nearly five-minute meeting with reporters.

Today he abandoned his earlier reticence by criticizing at length past media coverage of him.

Marshawn deserves the right to his silence. And the NFL should be criticized for forcing league players to submit to the usual vacuous questions that produce answers of no significance. Mr. Lynch revealed the silliness of this charade by refusing to participate.

Loretta Lynch for her part had every right to make the case for her confirmation as the next Attorney General. She took full advantage of the opportunity in two days of testimony on Capitol Hill to lay out her vision of how she will serve if confirmed.

The two Lynches are talented practitioners of their chosen careers. Yet their separate paths make me wonder to what degree American still offers full opportunities for everyone?

I hope that both Loretta Lynch and Marshawn Lynch are living their lifelong aspirations—Ms. Lynch as lawyer; Mr. Lynch as football player. Yet I fear that too many doors remain closed to too many of our citizens. Careers and dreams thwarted because paths are blocked—forcing too many on to detours away from their original destination.

America has a long way to go until the faces of corporate America and professional sports  are indistinguishable. Unfortunately, they are not.

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