At his introductory press conference as a Chicago Bear, Brandon Marshall said that despite allegations that he punched a woman at a nightclub over the weekend, he’s certain when the facts come out he will not be facing any legal problems, or any NFL discipline.
Asked if he’s afraid the NFL will suspend him, Marshall said there’s no reason to worry about that.
“Absolutely not. No fear at all. Once it has taken its course, I think you will see things totally different, and we’re excited about the process,” Marshall said, via Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times. “I understand and I get the perception out there. Those are the seeds that I’ve planted early on in my career up until last year.”
Marshall acknowledged that his past off-field problems make him easy to criticize, but he said in this case he did nothing wrong.
“In due time, the truth will be out, and we’re excited about that,” Marshall said. “Given my history, I definitely understand the concern and the questions.”
Marshall has to be concerned not only with the authorities being satisfied that he did nothing wrong, but also with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s take on the situation. Marshall has already been suspended once, in 2008, for violating the league’s personal conduct policy, and if the NFL finds that he did anything wrong in this case he’d be a repeat offender subject to stricter discipline. Goodell has made clear in previous cases that even players who aren’t arrested or criminally charged (like Ben Roethlisberger) can be suspended.
Knowing that, Bears General Manager Phil Emery doesn’t come across as quite so confident Marshall won’t be suspended.
“We’re getting a little far ahead of the process,” Emery said Thursday. “It is a process. The league has contacted us. We’re in contact with the league. We are working through this process with them, along with ourselves and doing our own work. I think that’s just getting a little far ahead of the process. We will monitor the process and follow it through its conclusion.”
Marshall is confident that conclusion will be him on the field in a Bears uniform for Week One.