FanDuel - WFBC

October 28, 2013

Brandon Meriweather Calls Out Brandon Marshall's Domestic Abuse: Chicago wide receiver Brandon Marshall said that Washington safety Brandon Meriweather "needs to get suspended or taken out of the game completely" for hits to the head and neck of defenseless receivers. Meriweather responded, "He feel like I need to be kicked out of the league? I feel like people who beat their girlfriends should be kicked out, too. You tell me who you'd rather have: Somebody who play aggressive on the field, or somebody who beat up their girlfriend?" The Marshall had four alleged domestic violence incidents in 2007, though no charges were filed.

posted by rcade to football at 03:36 PM - 14 comments

Jesus. How old is Meriweather, 8 or so? You tell me who you'd rather have: Somebody who play aggressive dirty on the field, or somebody who beat up their girlfriend?

Neither, Brandon. Neither. What those of us over the age of 8 generally understand is that Marshall's off the field problems (which I think he admits are severe) are completely irrelevant when discussing your own play. And you're just making yourself look like an asshole by calling out the personal issues of a man who has been diagnosed with a borderline personality disorder and who seems to be making a concerted effort to redeem himself.

posted by tahoemoj at 03:52 PM on October 28

As if I needed more reasons to be embarrassed to be a Washington fan. I think I might be done with football.

posted by Hugh Janus at 04:06 PM on October 28

If Marshall is redeeming himself, great, but I don't see the relevance of his disorder to him being criticized for his actions. Domestic violence is bad regardless of whether a disorder contributed to the abuser's behavior.

I don't have a problem with Meriweather bringing up Marshall's past. Marshall saying he should be kicked out of the league is extremely harsh, so Meriweather responded in kind.

posted by rcade at 04:30 PM on October 28

Meriweather must be making up for all of the opportunities to make stupid comments that he missed while with the Patriots.

posted by feloniousmonk at 05:20 PM on October 28

I don't see the relevance of his disorder to him being criticized for his actions.

I don't know. I guess I'm a little torn on that one. On the one hand, you are right that domestic violence is a zero-tolerance issue. But on the other, I think a little bit of nuance is added when you are arguably mocking someone for a serious mental disability. My wife is in the mental health industry, and is pretty clear on the fact that borderline personality disorders are a very real and very dangerous condition.

If your point is that the actions can always be condemned, I guess that I agree with you. But I stand by my original answer to the question that Meriweather posed, which is neither.

posted by tahoemoj at 05:21 PM on October 28

Yeah, I agree with tahoemoj.

Certainly it's fine to remember what someone did, but if they've honestly sought treatment for a mental illness and are working to get past it, it's pretty heartless to continue to call them out for it.

If Merriweather was even remotely repentant and trying not to hurt people, it'd be one thing to compare the two statements, but that's not what we have here at all.

posted by dfleming at 06:01 PM on October 28

Meriweather wasn't mocking Marshall's disorder, he was criticizing Marshall's actions. He might only know the incidents of reported abuse, not the fact Marshall was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. (I didn't know he had BPD until this discussion.)

Criticizing Marshall for having a disorder would be a low blow. Criticizing him for acts of domestic abuse is, at least to me, not a low blow. It's just an extremely tough thing to call him out for.

I guess I'm rebelling from the notion that a person with a diagnosed disorder gets a pass from being held as accountable as anyone else for behaving reprehensibly, an opinion motivated by personal experience.

posted by rcade at 06:18 PM on October 28

I thought Marshall's BPD was a pretty well-known thing. But really that's just from hearing commentators during a game a few weeks ago talking about his bright yellow(?) shoes when everybody else was wearing pink. Marshall said that he planned to match the fine he anticipated from the NFL in donations to a foundation for mental health research.

I can't believe I was paying such close attention.

posted by Hugh Janus at 06:29 PM on October 28

I guess I'm rebelling from the notion that a person with a diagnosed disorder gets a pass from being held as accountable as anyone else for behaving reprehensibly

For me, it's not a matter of Marshall getting a pass from accountability based on mental illness. It's more a matter of Meriweather being an asshole for bringing it up as a means to defend his own questionable actions on the field (Maybe it boils down to a perception of what Meriweather was trying to do). I also think Marshall has owned his previous behavior and acknowledged that he has been out of line at times. Of course whether he acknowledges BPD merely as one reason for bad behavior, rather than some sort of overarching excuse, is a matter of opinion and perception, as well.

posted by tahoemoj at 07:35 PM on October 28

Marshall's never gotten a pass for his actions - I have no idea how you missed it, but his being one of the first athletes with a public mental illness was a big deal in 2011. He also admitted he had issues with anger and alcohol, and got treatment for those along the way.

posted by dfleming at 08:15 PM on October 28

Yeah, without in any way excusing Marshall's actions I thought his revelations were brave and his actions since then have been consistent with someone trying to improve.

posted by yerfatma at 08:44 AM on October 29

his actions... have been consistent with someone trying to improve.

To the point where I would like to hold him up as an example for some people I know who fall into the problematic category of having a disorder and refusing to address it.

posted by beaverboard at 08:53 AM on October 29

It's more a matter of Meriweather being an ------- for bringing it up as a means to defend his own questionable actions on the field ...

I don't dispute that, but I don't care about it much, either. The things he said about Marshall are true.

If Marshall is making a name for himself as a person with the courage to admit his BPD and deal with it successfully, that's great. People will be helped by that.

He has an athletic gift that makes people give him the time to achieve public redemption for past bad acts. But it doesn't mean they never happened or that the damage he did to his partners is fully erased.

posted by rcade at 11:20 AM on October 29

I don't think anyone is suggesting he's redeemed. I think we're more saying Brandon Marshall's domestic violence history is a weird way to justify your habit of smashing people in the head.

posted by yerfatma at 01:03 PM on October 29

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