“I Just Get Involved With Sh*t That I Like’| Marshawn Lynch Talks Mentoring Players, Parent Problems, Post-NFL Success On “The Pivot Podcast”

(Photo by Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for Activision)

Former NFL star Marshawn Lynch, aka “Beast Mode,” sat down for an interview on the latest episode of “The Pivot Podcast,” joining co-hosts Ryan Clark, Channing Crowder and Fred Taylor for a lively conversation touching on numerous topics from Lynch’s prolific career both on and off the field.

You know we can’t have Super Bowl week and not hear from one of the most polarizing players of his time.

Lynch is a Super Bowl champion who amassed over 10,000 yards rushing throughout 12 seasons in the NFL. In his playing days he was never a man of many words, just actions. His “I’m just here so I won’t get fined,” Super Bowl week refrain is the stuff of NFL social media lore.

When Lynch does open up, he’s actually chock full of quotables, humor and unfiltered honesty. Unsurprisingly, after 12 Hall of Fame seasons in the NFL, he’s got stories for days.

The Pivot Podcast” saw Lynch open up about some deeply personal topics.

During the over-an-hour-long conversation, Lynch explained how mending a relationship with his mother was an impetus in boosting his career both on and off the field.

 “I had to maximize my opportunity and potential to be the best running back I could be,” said Lynch. “The pivot point for me wasn’t even sports related. There was a point where I wasn’t seeing eye-to-eye with my mom. We didn’t talk for three weeks, but I just had this feeling, and stuff wasn’t feeling right to me. When it comes down to it, I was feeling a certain type of way. I hit up my moms, and all of a sudden, I felt complete again.

“I had to look at some sh-t,” said Lynch, explaining the pivot in mindset he went through mid-career. “If I had continued down the path I was going down, I wouldn’t be in the league. We wouldn’t of had ‘Beast Mode’. We all want to win the Super Bowl. I looked around and saw all the talent we had on Seattle. I knew that I had to be on the field. I couldn’t be on the field if I kept doing what I was doing off the field.”

Lynch Mentored Cincinnati Bengals star RB Joe Mixon 

The episode includes Lynch’s connection to this Sunday’s Super Bowl LVI between the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals. During his early days in the league with the Buffalo Bills, Lynch mentored young football players, one of whom was Bengals star running back Joe Mixon.

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“That’s little bro,” said Lynch. “We also had Marcus Peters play in the Super Bowl a couple years ago. Being in a position like that, where I’m looking at youngsters who went through the pipeline, and now they’re in the Super Bowl, that’s a good feeling.”

The co-hosts push Lynch to explain how he’s been able to go from a player notoriously media-averse, to one of the most recognizable and marketable stars the league has produced in recent decades. For Lynch, his success has been about just staying true to who he is.

 “Everybody is their own person at the end of the day,” said Lynch. “You have to live life for who you are.

“I just get involved with sh-t that I like,” continued Lynch, explaining his many successes off the field, from Skittles partnerships to his recent foray into acting on the Netflix series Murderville. “It got to a point where I was just trying sh-t. Ain’t none of this sh-t planned. I’m a running back. I gotta be able to think on the fly.”

Clark continues to push him on the subject, asking Lynch how he became so comfortable in the many avenues that he’s succeeded in. Lynch brings the point back to football, where his success there would eventually lead to more successes in other walks of life.

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 “The plan has always been to be able to take care of my family,” said Lynch. “At the end of the day, I had a product that teams wanted. So I used it. To use layman’s terms, this motherf-cker could run that ball.”

Sticking on the theme of family, Taylor asks Lynch about what kind of relationship he had with his father, who was incarcerated throughout Lynch’s life. Lynch then recalls a story of nearly going to visit his father in prison, before ultimately missing out on the opportunity, leading to a surprisingly emotional moment.

 “How could I break down for a motherf-cker who was never there for me?” said Lynch. “There was a point where, regardless of all that had happened, this is still the motherf-cker who helped create me. I looked at it from a different angle. I never got the chance to holler at him.”

Near the end of the episode, Lynch and Crowder recall a story from their days facing off twice a year when Lynch played for the Buffalo Bills while Crowder lined up for the Miami Dolphins. Lynch gave Crowder respect for the way he played the game and offered insight for how he views other NFL players.

 “It ain’t about what you look like, it’s about you coming with that sh-t,” said Lynch. “There are certain players who I respect because of how they get down that everyone knows about. Then there are players with no accolades, and I respect them even more. Crowder was coming with that sh-t. And it wasn’t just one time. When I played this motherf-cker, I knew I had to be ready for that again and again.”

The podcast crew also touched on a range of topics, from the Brian Flores lawsuit against the NFL to Lynch’s venture into the legalized marijuana business.

JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.