Wide receiver talks about his advocacy efforts to raise awareness about a pressing issue in the NFL.
Lime Green is the color used to raise awareness for mental health, and in honor of Mental Health Awareness Week on Oct. 6-12, it's the color Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall plans to wear for the next game.
"I went through something," Marshall said while pausing to recall being diagnosed with borderline personality disorder three years ago. "It was tough. I went through a program and it was effective for me."
Marshall said he's past the BPD now thanks to mechanisms that allow him to cope and the receiver is learning to let out emotions he kept bottled up in the past. Like after the Saints held Marshall to just 30 yards receiving, bracketing coverage on him for his third lowest output as a Bear.
Whether he's in Head Coach Marc Trestman's ear on the sideline or voicing his displeasure to the media, Marshall said it's what he has to do.
"Really it's all about communication," Marshall said. "It's not really balling everything up. ... I'm always going to tell the truth."
Because he went through a publicized outpatient treatment program for his BPD, Marshall realizes all eyes are on him just waiting for the fuse to ignite. The Bears record-holding receiver said it's fine with him, and he's working on his body language too.
"Coach Trestman calls it a 'palms up' guy," Marshall explained. "I'm coming to the sideline like 'What's going on, it's been three drives', so I go to Coach [and say] 'Man I'm sorry, I won't be a palms-up guy, I'll work on that."
Trestman said he understands his No. 1 receiver wants to continue to perform like a No. 1.
"He's a verbal guy. He's highly articulate, he's got great football intelligence," Trestman said, adding, "He's typical of elite level athletes that play the position that he does."
Trestman explained Marshall shouldn't be construed as upset with the team, but rather a player who knows he can help the team win and wants to be used that way.
Marshall led the Bears in receiving each of the first three weeks of the season before turning over that honor to Alshon Jeffery in weeks four and five.
"You pay a receiver $10 million for them to be OK with not being productive, get out of here!" Marshall smiled. "When I'm a coach, or if I own a team one day and ... I'm paying a receiver that much money and he's happy, if he's not complaining or communicating about wanting more? He's gotta go!"
When the Bears host the New York Giants Thursday at Soldier Field, Marshall plans on wearing lime green cleats to raise awareness for Mental Health. He'll accept the fine from the NFL, then auction the cleats to charity.
Marshall said he won't shy away from the coverage -- by the media or NFL defenses. And he has a message for the Giants.
"This is my kind of game," Marshall warns. "If they're going to double me, double me. That's fine. We'll go to other guys, but if not, they're going to have to pay."