There has been much criticism this week over Brandon Marshall's recent run in with the law, which again puts his future with the Broncos in question. Many fans are even okay with his immediate release from the team. This issue has been over blown and needs to be put back into perspective, within both the confines of our cultural mentalities and love of the game. Most of us despise men who abuse women and even though many of us were able to look past Brandon's apparent abusive past, this latest incident seems to have enraged many of us more than any past indiscretion committed by Marshall.
I think it's time to rehash the laundry list of run-ins with the law that Brandon Marshall has had since entering the league in 2006. My hope is that you will see that this latest incident is not even close to the same level of abusive infraction with the law as his past legal troubles. It is my belief that Roger Goddell will not take any action against Brandon Marshall for his most recent arrest, if he does, then it will be more because of the media frenzy it created rather than the actual seriousness of offense.
June 17, 2006
Marshall's then girlfriend Rasheedah Watley sent a sworn statement to police that he threw a phone or a remote control at her, hitting her in the forehead and cutting her above the eye. Charges were never filed.
January 24, 2007
Brandon Marshall and his father got into a heated argument in the parking lot of a bowling alley about money. Marshall's father told police that Brandon had fired a gun at him, while Marshall claimed his father tried to run him over with a car. Witnesses did not confirm either accusation and neither pressed any charges, nor were any arrests made.
March 21, 2007
Police were called to Marshall's residence in Boca Raton where Watley was removed from the scene to defuse the situation. The argument was non violent and no arrests were made. However, Marshall told police that after she left he was so angry that he picked up an iron pipe and struck the ground in frustration.
I will take a break here to point out that these early issues were building up and one can see that Brandon Marshall was on the brink of losing control of his life and his situation. He needed help and no one was there to reach out to him in time. The help would come later, as usual, after the damage had been done. Now on to the really bad stretch of Brandon Marshall's public personal life
March 26, 2007
Marshall arrested for domestic violence and false imprisonment. He would not allow a taxi to leave the area with his ex-girlfriend Watley in it. He reportedly punched the window of the taxi several times and he was arrested after Watley called 911 and the taxi driver was able to flee the scene. The charges were dismissed in May of that year
October 22, 2007
Marshall was arrested for DUI after police pulled him over for driving down the wrong way of a one-way street in downtown Denver. He initially pleaded not guilty, but when the case finally went to trial in September of 2008 he pleaded guilty to driving while impaired and served 24 hours of community service and $1100 in fines.
March 6, 2008
Brandon Marshall was arrested again, this time for battery. He reportedly hit Rasheedah Watley in the mouth and eye and was arrested and booked for battery. In what would become the apex of his legal troubles, he was charged for misdemeanor battery on September 10th, two days before he was to plead guilty for his DUI case.
March 2, 2009
Police were called to a domestic dispute between Brandon Marshall and his fiance. Marshall and his fiance were both arrested for disorderly conduct. The charges were quickly dismissed and both were released within hours of the arrest.
Ok, so now we see just how embattled our star receiver has been in his career with the Broncos. You can see, that March is not a kind month to Marshall. Perhaps we should lock him up in a padded room each and every March. In any case, his troubles really started in March of 2007 and ended in March of 2008. He has been clean and honest with his life for an entire year. This latest incident really just looks like a lovers quarrel that took place in public and the police arrested the two just to keep the public peace. The arrest and charge had no legal standing and was quickly dismissed.
The fallout of this incident really came about because of the media. We can't really blame them though, as it is Marshall's fault that the media is so concerned with his personal life. As I said at the onset, if anything happens with Marshall from a suspension standpoint it will be because of the media taking notice of the incident and of Marshall's past infractions. As far as this incident being a precursor to future hassles, I doubt it. The only way my mind could be changed is if Marshall begins to have minor run-ins in the future that involve his fiance, for that could be an indication that things are escalating. For now, it just looks like a minor incident that we would have never known about or took much notice of if it hadn't been for Marshall's past troubles.
I also don't think we should be so quick to ostracize him for this and demands for his immediate release or trading are based more on emotion than reason. Brandon Marshall is a unique talent and the Bronco organization needs to do everything it can to get him the help he needs to be the quality of person off the field that he is on the field. I leave you this video to remind us all of what he means to us on the field and a picture to give you hope of what he can achieve in his life off the field.