New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall thinks “the race card” was a factor in Tom Brady's suspension being overturned, he said on Showtime's “Inside the NFL.”
“There are a lot of players out there that believe that white players, specifically at the quarterback position, are treated differently,” Marshall said.
Marshall said he has found that many players, including some white players, agree that race factors into NFL proceedings. Marshall said he believes that black players are “absolutely” held to a different standard at times.
“This is not just from our locker room, this is from locker rooms across the States,” Marshall said. “This is how guys are feeling, this is not just my opinion. ...These are conversations I'm having with guys.”
Brady's four-game suspension for his alleged role in Deflategate was overturned last week, making him eligible to play in Week 1 against the Steelers.
Marshall said NFL players had one of three opinions on Deflategate and Brady's suspension: Some players believed that Brady's suspension nullification was a win for players’ rights, so they had been cheering him on regardless of whether they thought he was guilty. Other players, who Marshall called cowards, wanted Brady's suspension to be upheld so they wouldn't have to play against him. The last group of players thought race played a role in the matter.
Marshall is a 10-year NFL veteran who has been selected to five Pro Bowls while playing for the Broncos, Dolphins and Bears. He signed a three-year, $26 million contract with the Jets after being traded from Chicago this off-season.
- Erin Flynn