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Larry Foote calls out Marshawn Lynch, says the RB sends the wrong message to inner-city kids

The Cardinals linebacker doesn't believe the enigmatic running back sends the right message to kids.

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Cardinals linebacker Larry Foote got some national attention for some comments he made on a radio show recently. The soon-to-be free agent was a guest on "The Cook and Poni Show" on 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh and criticized Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch for his on and off-field antics.

Lynch is known for brutally physical running, not talking to the media, grabbing his crotch to celebrate and, when he does talk to the media, says things like "thanks for asking," "I'm just here so I don't get fined" or other ridiculous comments.

He also is known for his work with under-privileged children, especially in and around Oakland, where he is from.

However, Foote believes that with all the good he does for the kids, how he behaves around football is undoing a lot of that good.

"You hear in the media, he always mentions his foundation and what he likes to do for the city of Oakland," Foote said. "I'm from the same type of urban environment that he's from and the biggest message that he's giving these kids, he might not want to admit it, is the hell with authority. ‘I don't care, fine me, I'm gonna grab my crotch, I'm gonna do it my way.' In the real world, it doesn't work that way. It just doesn't. How can you keep a job. I mean, you got these inner city kids, they don't listen to teachers, they don't listen to police officers, principals and these guys can't even keep a job because they say ‘F' authority."

This is a hard thing to make a call on. It seems easy to hold to a high moral ground and some will say Foote's comments are inappropriate. Others will say he is dead on.

Foote does have valid points. Kids, right or wrong, emulate and imitate things they see from star athletes. But is it Lynch's job to raise other people's kids or worry about how they behave?

My take is this: No matter who is watching or imitating you, it is wise and good to follow rules and regulations -- even when you don't always agree with them. The crotch grabbing is dumb. The way he talks (or doesn't talk to the media) is a spectacle unto itself. If he would rather not say much, then make it hard to get a good quote, but he shouldn't make not talking a bigger deal than anything he possibly could say.

Does Lynch have the right to do what he is doing? Certainly. Does he have the responsibility to behave more professionally? As a public figure and someone who makes his money from what fans spend, you can certainly say that.

But Foote is both right and wrong. The kids to which he refers already have a tough life and face all sorts of challenges may of us never could understand. He is right that they see Lynch behave this way and will try to act like him. But it doesn't take away from what he does when he is not in his Beast Mode persona. That still makes a real impact.

Do you agree with Foote? Or is he just out of touch? Or is he somewhere in between?