Please, Brandon Marshall, just stop talking and focus on catching footballs.
Earlier this week, the New York Jets star receiver spoke to the press about Tom Brady’s suspension being overturned by U.S. federal judge Richard Berman in the Deflategate dispute between Brady and the NFL. Marshall said that he and many other players around the league feel as if race played a factor in the suspension being overturned.
What Marshall and anyone else in the league who shares similar feelings are failing to acknowledge, however, is that Berman released an intensive 40 page document that outlined exactly what was unjust with the NFL’s investigation of Brady and other Patriots team officials. Berman’s ruling concluded that the NFL’s investigation had “several significant legal deficiencies” within it, citing three key reasons why the league’s sanctions on Brady couldn’t legally be permitted. Those reasons were that Brady and the NFL Players Association were never given notice of the potential penalties associated with case, the NFL’s failure to provide a key witness, and for handing Brady the first ever punishment of a player based on general awareness of someone else’s wrongdoing.
Legally speaking, Berman’s assessment of the events leading up to the Deflategate case is sound, and in no way could it be determined that his ruling was based on the color of Brady’s skin. Nothing in the court documents released could even remotely suggest that race had anything to do with Berman’s decision.
What hurts Marshall’s argument even more, is that Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice, and Greg Hardy (who are black NFL athletes) have all won legal disputes against the NFL regarding suspensions for off-field misconduct. In all cases, the sanctions handed down by the NFL were overturned, and in Rice’s case, he was reinstated after the league indefinitely suspended him for his actions in a heinous domestic assault case.
So what Marshall is essentially telling us is that, because Brady is white, his suspension regarding alleged general awareness of team officials supposedly intentionally (I’m sick of all these qualifiers, too) deflating footballs for the AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts was overturned. And, at least from what I can infer of Marshall’s comments, Ray Rice’s reinstatement after sucker punching his fiancé and dragging her out of an elevator by her hair wasn’t good enough, and that the legal system mistreated him because he is black. Perhaps he should have been on the next cover of NFL magazine, and then Marshall would be pleased.
Not everything in life is race related. It is impossible to trace anything from these cases back to the topic of race. Yet, somehow, Marshall found a way – by opening up his mouth and uttering mind-bogglingly unintelligent words in succession. There are rules and laws on the books in this country that apply to everyone equally, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, etc. Marshall’s comments in the public realm are not beneficial to our society, and only further divide us when no real racial injustice has occurred.