The turnout on a day’s notice is a testament to the love Oakland has for this man
Marshawn Lynch built up a popular persona as the introverted running back who had to be forced by the NFL to reluctantly speak to the press during his NFL career. The former Seattle Seahawk spent last season in retirement, but recently announced that he’d be putting his cleats back on to play for his hometown Oakland Raiders in the upcoming NFL season. To mark the occasion, the quirky star (nicknamed “Beast Mode”) posted this simple message on social media:
RT @MoneyLynch: 2morrow at Oakland Tech 1 o'clock https://t.co/PWcXkURayX— Shawn Lynch (@Shawn Lynch)1495304346.0
It’s a testament to Lynch’s drawing power that nothing else had to be said to ensure a heartening turnout the following day. Media estimates range from about 400 to over 1,000 participants joining Lynch for a leisurely ride around his Oakland neighborhood.
Brief footage of the ride shows the enigmatic Lynch, a Super Bowl winner with the Seahawks, holding onto a van to convey his bike.
Marshawn Lynch on a Saturday bike ride with his friends — hundreds of them. Group will ride to Berkeley and back to… https://t.co/XNf1odNH5f— Michael Gehlken (@Michael Gehlken)1495315098.0
While he might be a curiosity to casual fans, Lynch has maintained a fierce pride and devotion to his native Oakland. The Raiders are slated to relocate to Vegas in the next couple years, but it remains to be seen whether Lynch stays with the squad long enough to make that trip.
For a look at the awkward relationship between the reserved Lynch and the media, this serves as a helpful and hilarious primer.