Brandon Marshall plays for the New York Giants, and on Thursday morning, he made an appearance on WEEI, a Boston sports radio station that is a big fan of the New England Patriots. The interview didn’t go well. It ended with Marshall walking off the set after the hosts asked him questions he thought were out of line.
Marshall and the hosts, Kirk Minihane and Gerry Callahan, were discussing the Jets, which led to a discussion about the Jets’ best quarterback (Marshall stuck up for his former Bears teammate, Josh McCown), which led to a discussion about Tom Brady, which led to a question about something Marshall had said in September 2015 about Brady’s Deflategate suspension, which had been lifted.
“There are a lot of players out there that believe that white players — specifically, at the quarterback position — are treated differently,” Marshall said at the time on Showtime’s “Inside the NFL.”
When Marshall was asked if thought black players were held to a different standard, he said, “Absolutely. At times, yes.”
Back to Thursday’s interview. When Kirk and Callahan asked Marshall about that comment, Marshall said he didn’t really remember. He said that he loves Brady and the Patriots. He even called Brady his “man crush.”
And then the conversation took on a different tone.
You can watch video of the interaction here, but be warned that it features brief NSFW language. Below, I’ve transcribed a portion of the conversation:
Marshall: “But there is, in sports, our stars get treated differently.”
Q: “Well, you said there’s a different standard. You said that black athletes were held to a different standard.”
Marshall: “Whatever. I’m not getting into the race card with you guys. So, if that’s what you guys want to do then you can go there. But black guys in America get treated differently — period. So, I’ll just say that.”
Q: “But you admit Brady was treated –“
Marshall: “Black guys in America get treated differently.”
Q: “But do you think professional athletes get treated differently? When they hand suspensions, do they look at it and say, ‘Well, this guy is black and this guy is white?'”
Marshall: “Are we done with this interview? Can I get off this interview? Alright. I’m done with you guys.”
Q: “That’s it? You’re sure?”
Marshall: “I’m positive.”
Marshall: “C’mon, man. You’re going back to a year ago, brother. You guys made news. You got Brandon Marshall to say black guys get treated differently. I’m gonna drop the mic on you guys.”
The conversation didn’t end there. It continued with the hosts arguing that it’s a “fair conversation” because it’s something Marshall said in the past. They told Marshall that they talk about Brady all the time.
“It’s what we do,” they told Marshall.
“Well, change the subject or I’m getting off and dropping the mic,” Marshall replied.
They began their next question by bringing up Marshall’s legal history.
“Oh s—,” Marshall said, cutting them off. “Alright, man. I’m done with you guys. Bye.”
As he stood up to leave, Marshall accidentally spilled his coffee near/onto a laptop. He immediately apologized for spilling the coffee, moved the man’s laptop, and asked if someone had a towel. Yes, it appeared to be an accident. Yes, it was just as awkward as it sounds.
Then, he left.
Marshall’s legal history was the predominant narrative of his early career — here’s a timeline of his extensive legal issues, which includes violent incidents — and in 2011, Marshall discovered that he suffered from borderline personality disorder. He worked to turn his life around and that’s exactly what he’s done, avoiding legal issues and suspensions since 2012. He also cofounded Project 375, which tries to end the stigma of mental health by raising awareness and improving care for those who need it. In the process, he’s become a mentor for younger players.
Marshall — formerly of the Broncos, Dolphins, Bears, and Jets — signed a two-year deal with the Giants this offseason. Shortly after, he announced his intention to retire when his contract runs its course.