Why No One Talks About Marshawn Lynch’s Father
By Victor Ochieng
A lot has been going on in Marshawn Lynch’s life, both in and outside the field. But there is rarely a mention of his father. Even in the new film, “Family First: the Marshawn Lynch Story,” Lynch doesn’t have a father figure.
Lynch’s father, Maurice Sapp, is currently behind bars, serving a 24-year jail term for grand theft and burglary, according to documents accessed by USA TODAY Sports.
Lynch’s aunts say that understanding Lynch and why he avoids talking to the media requires understanding his relationship with his dad.
“When I see Marshawn, I see my brother,” Bernice Feaster, who’s one of Sapp’s sisters, told USA TODAY. “My brother’s been in and out of jail, but he’s not a bad person. And he loves his kids.”
“He wants a better relationship with Marshawn, but he doesn’t want Marshawn to think he’s reaching out to him just because he’s a famous football player,” Feaster said. “That’s a sticky situation.”
In further revelation from Sarah Bridges, a sister to 53-year-old Sapp, she said that the relationship between Lynch and his father has been frosty since the 1990s when Sapp separated with Lynch’s mother, Delisa Lynch. The separation came as a result of Sapp’s habit of stealing from his wife to buy drugs. His drug addiction led to his involvement in criminal activities, eventually sending him to jail several times over different charges.
Feaster said that Sapp was a good guy, but was often unreliable, especially in his dealings with Lynch. That, she says, may have been the reason of Lynch’s sour relationship with his dad.
“I think that does have a part in it because Marshawn would be sitting there and he’d be anxious waiting on his dad,” Feaster said. “Sometimes his daddy would show up, and sometimes he wouldn’t. I think it affected him. Kids playing football, their daddy’s there watching them, coaching them, talking to them after the game, telling them what they could’ve done better or what they did well. And Marshawn didn’t have that. He had his Papa (Lynch’s grandfather), but it’s different.”
At one point, when Sapp came out of prison, it was a challenge for him to reconnect with his family due to his relationship with Lynch’s mother. That would, at times, force him to watch Lynch play football from outside the fence to avoid a possible confrontation with Lynch’s mom.
Lynch’s high school coach, Delton Edwards, said that Lynch became so angry about his situation that he changed his name from Marshawn Sapp-Lynch to Marshawn Lynch.
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