New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall has become very vocal about the Tom Brady overturned suspension citing race as a major factor.
By Robby Sabo
Unless you’ve decided to take a break from the world during the year 2015, you understand what’s happened surrounding New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady since last February.
Super Bowl champion for the fourth time, Brady’s managed to turn his golden-boy image into a lying, cheating and smug version practically overnight thanks to Deflate-Gate. Suspended by the NFL and Roger Goodell for four-games (just or not), Brady’s team accomplished their goal in having the case nullified by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Berman.
There are many opinions about the decision.
You may be one of those who think four-games was entirely too much to hand out for a deflated football. Or, you could be one of the many who believe the Patriots have been systematically cheating since Bill Belichick’s arrival in 2000 and four-games wasn’t even close to enough.
After all, if teams could cheat and then do everything in their power to roadblock the investigation so no smoking-gun is ever found, then why not take the chance and cheat at every turn?
It sure seems worth it.
Like I said, there are many opinions. The most recent example of an opinion comes in the form of New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall.
Marshall, who’ll play his first game with the Jets this coming Sunday when they take on the Cleveland Browns, wasn’t bashful about his strong opinions towards the Brady case.
While co-hosting Showtime’s iconic program Inside the NFL, Marshall brought up the race card as it pertained to Brady’s suspension being lifted.
“The race card,” Marshall said. “There are a lot of players out there that believe that white players — specifically, at the quarterback position — are treated differently.”
He’s most definitely correct in his assumption that quarterbacks are treated differently. Whether it’s on or off the field, these guys are treated as though their made of porcelain and 14K gold.
They’re the money makers for each of the franchises and the guys the NFL point towards to jack up the scores and excitement on Sundays.
“I think that there are three different types of players’ views in this thing,” said Marshall, glancing at prepared notes.
“No. 1 is the fighter. I think there are guys in the fight with Tom. When one player’s rights are upheld, then all players’ rights are upheld. It’s not about what he did, if he’s right or wrong. It’s more about the process. Is it fair?
“The second is cowards — I call them cowards. That’s the guys that are afraid to face Tom Brady. They want him suspended; I don’t believe in that.”
The third, Marshall said, was “the race card.”
Marshall is a player. He’ll always back the player in a fight against the big, bad league.
Furthermore, we know Marshall is outspoken. Since identifying and overcoming his battle with borderline personality disorder, Marshall has been a model citizen in the league and around the community, spreading awareness about the mental illness he’ll be with the rest of his life.
Finally, Marshall made clear to keep out of controversy completely.
“This is how guys are feeling, this is not just my opinion,” he said. “These are conversations I’m having with guys.”
Asked if he believes black players are held to a different standard, Marshall said, “Absolutely. At times, yes.”
He knew his words would create headlines immediately. It’s just the way the sports media world works. But he was also smart enough to proclaim that this wasn’t his specific opinion. Instead, only a general consensus about how some around the league feel.
To me it seems a pretty weak to bring up the race card when dealing with this specific situation. Isn’t Goodell and the NFL now 0-for when it comes to heading to court when attempting to make a suspension stick?
— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) September 7, 2015
Adrian Peterson’s case last February comes to mind. U.S. Court Judge David S. Doty overturned that one despite the man in question not having the color of white on his side.
Additionally, white or black isn’t the overriding color when it comes to Deflate-Gate. Instead it’s Red, White and Blue – the colors of the New England Patriots.
Whether it’s Spygate (as chronicled by Outside The Lines yesterday) or Deflate-Gate, this organization seems to get away with everything. So much so that the 31 other franchises in the league have to be wondering to themselves whether or not they’ve missed the boat on not pushing the limits all these years.
Every man is entitled to his opinion, that’s for sure. But Deflate-Gate has nothing to do with the race card.
I’m sure Marshall’s sentiment about many players around the league thinking race does factor into many decisions is 100 percent accurate. Just not in this case.
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