Jets receiver Brandon Marshall is in the unique position of being an active NFL player while having a national media forum to offer his opinions on NFL-related topics. Marshall is one of the cast members of Showtime’s Inside The NFL, which begins its 37th season on the air Tuesday, Sept. 8 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, and during a press event in New York City on Monday to promote CBS (which owns Showtime) and the NFL Network’s 2015 coverage, Marshall was asked about the recent comments made by ESPN NFL broadcaster Cris Carter. While talking to a group of 2014 NFC rookies alongside former defensive tackle and fellow Hall of Famer Warren Sapp, the former Vikings receiver urged players to get a “fall guy” in the event they get in trouble. "If you all got a crew, you got to have a fall guy in the crew," Carter told the rookies. "If you all have a crew, one of those fools got to know, he's the one going to jail. We'll get him out."
Carter later apologized on ESPN's airwaves, saying it was “not the type of advice I would offer young people,” though he repeated that advice later for AFC rookies, according to the New York Daily News. The apology Carter offered on ESPN was weak for viewers, given their was no discussion about it by his Monday Night Countdown colleagues and no follow-up questions asked of Carter. Marshall, who once trained at Carter’s Boca Raton training facility, did not hold back on his criticism of the ESPN broadcaster.
“I believe that is the reality of a certain culture, but I don’t believe in that,” Marshall said. “I believe you should try to be your best every single day. Cris Carter is a guy that I have been around for the past 10 years, and as a player, sometimes I don’t agree with his approach. I feel like he is a guy who has been through a lot and he should be more understanding at times. This is just Cris Carter catching up with Cris Carter.”
Marshall, of course, is no stranger to off-the-field trouble. As Sports Illustrated reported in 2014, he had been named in at least eight separate incidents of violence against women since he was drafted in 2006. Marshall has insisted that's all in his past, recently telling the Associated Press: "All I can do is look at myself in the mirror and be the best guy I can be every day. That's what's in my heart. It's who I am. You win some days, you lose some days. People want to judge me, that's on them."
Marshall was far from alone in being a member of the NFL fraternity to criticize Carter. Former Steelers, Giants and Jets receiver Plaxico Burress took to Twitter to express his feelings about Carter's advice, as did former NFL linebacker Carl Banks.