It’s not fair to judge someone on facts that aren’t on the public record. To that end, recently, all we’ve actually known about Brandon Marshall was that he’s a prodigious talent at receiver for the Broncos, that he was recently arrested for the fourth time, and that prior to the fourth arrest, the NFL only saw fit to suspend him for one game.
That’s all out the window, following ESPN’s report on OUTSIDE THE LINES this Sunday. In an avalanche of evidence that includes police reports, 911 calls, and an emotional interview with ex-girlfriend Rasheedah Watley, OTL presented a timeline of extensive domestic abuse by Marshall, detailing no fewer than 13 separate incidents in which the police have gotten involved with Marshall.
Marshall declined comment to OTL for the segment, and has denied the allegations, because that’s what you do whenever something like this comes out. He deserves to have his side of the story told in as much detail as the police reports, of course. But when you read something like this incident:
March 18, 2007: Atlanta police responded to a domestic dispute call at the Westin Peachtree hotel. Watley told officers that after meeting Marshall at the hotel that night, he became enraged after he went through her cell phone call list and noticed she’d been speaking with an ex-boyfriend. Watley told police Marshall hit her repeatedly with a closed fist. While she refused medical attention, police noticed a large, dark-colored bruise on Watley’s chin. Police reported seeing Marshall in the lobby of a neighboring hotel but, according to the report, Marshall left and was not arrested. Police advised Watley to take out a warrant for Marshall’s arrest, but Watley never did. No charges were ever filed.
…it’s hard to imagine a positive side to the story from Marshall’s perspective.
Doubtless, there’ll be plenty of people (mostly men, mind you) who will ask why Watley took so long to end their relationship, despite the alleged long pattern of domestic abuse. Our answer is simple: ask a battered woman. There’s a mix of denial, pride, and then fear of what happens if she leaves. It’s a sad irony that those who are quickest to claim being abused, aren’t, while those who really should (like, if the allegations are true, Watley), don’t.
The second-to-last item on Marshall’s timeline isn’t a crime or anything bad at all; it’s his engagement to a new woman, Michi Nogami-Campbell. You’ll notice we said second to last. And you know what’s coming in the last one:
March 1, 2009: Marshall and his fiancée, Nogami-Campbell, were seen by an off-duty Atlanta police officer arguing outside the same Atlanta condo Marshall once shared with Watley. According to a police report of the incident, the off-duty officer saw Marshall and Nogami-Campbell kicking and punching one another on the sidewalk outside the condo building. The off-duty officer said she saw Marshall grab Nogami-Campbell by the shirt and pin her up against the wall. Nogami-Campbell continued to kick and hit Marshall, the officer said. Both Marshall and Nogami-Campbell were arrested and taken to the Atlanta City Jail. They were released later that same day and charges were dismissed. In a statement to ESPN, the NFL said the incident remains “under review.”
The NFL now has an ugly problem on their hands, and if there’s one thing Roger Goodell doesn’t like, it’s ugly problems. Four minor arrests got Chris Henry eight games. Pacman Jones got a season after that bouncer ended up paralyzed. Now there’s a woman in tears on ESPN, telling the world that Brandon Marshall’s problems go way, way deeper than his own fourth arrest. What does the NFL do now?