‘It’s a vulnerable time for a lot of these young dudes, feel me? They don’t be taking care of their chicken right… I’ll tell y’all right now while y’all in it, take care of your bread so when you’re all done you can go ahead and take care of yourself.’
That’s Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch talking money — or “chicken,” as he put it — after his team lost a heartbreaker to the Green Bay Packers in the NFL playoffs on Sunday night.
Yes, instead of explaining away the loss with a string of familiar clichés, Lynch, who came out of retirement to help the Seahawks make a playoff push, took the opportunity to impart some financial wisdom.
“I done been on the other side of retirement, and it’s good when you get over there and you can do what the f**k you want to,” he said. “Start taking care of y’all mentals, y’all bodies and y’all chicken. So when you’re ready to walk away, you walk away and you be able to do what you want to do.”
Watch the whole press conference:
NFL players clearly could use Lynch’s advice. An oft-cited Sports Illustrated report once found that almost eight out of 10 players suffer from financial stress within two years of their retirement. What’s more, the National Bureau of Economic Research estimates that one in six will file bankruptcy.
Lynch’s message shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s followed his career. Known for his punishing “Beast Mode” style on the field and for being one of the good guys off it, Lynch was nominated in 2018 for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award for his work with underprivileged youth.
“Marshawn’s impact on the field is easy to see,” said Mark Davis, owner of the Oakland Raiders, where Lynch was playing at the time of the nomination. “But it is off the field where he really makes a difference. While others may talk the talk, Marshawn walks the walk.”