Whenever a recently retired athlete joins the ranks of television, it’s fascinating to see how truly honest they can be. This relates not only to other players, but about their own careers. Inside the NFL doesn’t seem like quite the place for a new player-analyst, with its long form storytelling and more in-depth look at the sport. However, current Chicago Bears wideout Brandon Marshall made a pretty striking debut in his first episode.
The NFL’s new domestic violence policy, which features a six-game suspension for a deemed “first offense” and a possible lifetime ban for a second, came up on the show. Marshall, who has been arrested twice for domestic violence allegations (though found not guilty on one and the other dropped) was extremely candid on the issue, according to The Sherman Report:
When Boomer Esiason asked if the new policy had been in place back then, would it have been a deterrent for Marshall, he replied he “really didn’t see fault in myself” as a young player and there was a possibility he could have been hit with a lifetime ban for a second violation.
Marshall said he was a product of a volatile home environment as a child and that contributed to his problems.
“I’m just thankful where I’m in a position where I can take my story and tell these guys, ‘Listen, you don’t have to be a product of your environment,” Marshall said. “… I went from being a problem in the locker room to being a guy where not only players, but coaches and executives come to me for advice. How we can change procedures to help these guys.”
Marshall’s words on his education and change when it came to his behavior are appreciated in sort of a public forum. I’d like him to be a little clearer about how he “didn’t see the fault in himself.” Did he get self-righteously angry, or did he have a come-to-Jesus moment where he realized he needed to reassess his personal behavior and why he felt what he was doing was okay?
Either way, good on Marshall and the show that newly employs him for fostering honest and informative discussion.