A kaleidoscopic look at newly retired NFL star Marshawn Lynch and his use of silence as a form of protest.

Now is the perfect time to sit and have uncomfortable conversations. No matter the topic, we all have more time than ever to understand the full scope of things that are relevant to securing a bright and flourishing future for everyone. However, you can’t skate by difficult dialogue just because you think it may not pertain to you. In order to win we all have to rely on each other in some capacity and acknowledge the struggles that others experience. Therein lies the problem, we forgot what it means to be together, in all of its defined forms. While many people want to have these talks, some don’t know how or where to start. Which brings us to Lynch: A History and the conversation that meets at the intersection of sports and politics and how black athletes are treated and represented by the media.

In this particular case, Lynch: A History focuses on activist and All-Pro running back Marshawn Lynch. Known for one-liners such as, “Thanks for asking” “Yeah” and “I’m just here so I won’t get fined” when being asked questions from reporters, he quickly became a divisive figure. While being portrayed as a disruptor, a problem, and childish among other things, by many media outlets, Lynch stayed true to himself and knew exactly what he was doing. What he was doing was taking control in the form of a verbal-nonverbal protest. I’ve seen all of the clips individually over the years but being pieced together the way they are to create a narrative is ingenious. Never quite letting you relax, the documentary moves like a nonstop topical car chase that only slows down to let you read the signs. It shows America in a perspective that many already know, recognize, and live but makes it palatable for those that are ignorant or blind to the plight of those they choose to ignore. With its quick pacing and short clips, it skips the fluff and gets straight to the information. Also, showing you the true character of Marshawn. It elicits anger, disgust, and disdain for those who clearly want control over others and their narrative. Marshawn has his intelligence called into question in a few of its 700 clips when in actuality the foolish ones are those looking for negativity instead of understanding. Attacking the character of a genuinely good-hearted person who is unapologetically himself at all times is not a good look. I guess it leaves them on the wrong side of history. To circle back to my original point, Lynch seems to have it together while also bringing people together, just by being himself. This film does a great job exposing the vile nature of sports and news reporting while also illuminating the impact Lynch has had on sports as a whole. I thoroughly enjoyed this film and highly recommend it. Its rewatchablity is high. Lastly, remember that oftentimes the quietest voices have the biggest impact because, to quote Lynch himself, “I’m just bout that action, boss.” 

Plot & Pace

The documentary chronicles the life, troubles, and triumphs of Marshawn Lynch. Moving at a quick yet precise pace, it pieces together what made him a household name and how the media painted him as a troublemaker. It’s a story of authenticity and truth and how it’s not accepted unless it’s in a nice neat package.

Lynch: A History is now available on Topic and VOD. Enjoy and stay safe.

Topic is the new streaming service from First Look Media, curated for a curious and engaged audience seeking smart, provocative, and meaningful entertainment. Topic features North American premieres and programming from around the world, complemented by a diverse slate of originals including scripted comedies and dramas, talk shows, documentaries, features, and more. Topic is available to US and Canadian audiences on, AppleTV & iOS, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android, and Amazon Prime Video Channels.

Director: David Shields

Writer: David Shields

Runtime: 1h 25m

Rating: 5 out of 5

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