Domestic violence in the NFL has dominated headlines over the past few weeks, and on Wednesday, more accusations of negligent behavior by league commissioner Roger Goodell surfaced.
This time, the accusations center on Goodell’s handling of a situation involving Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall in 2007. (Full disclosure: Brandon Marshall worked as an analyst for NBC 5 in 2013).
According to a statement issued by Kristeena Spivey, who was friends with the woman that on several occasions Marshall was accused of assaulting, she brought the abuse case to Goodell, and he ignored her pleas for help:
“I called Roger Goodell to see if he could speak some sense into Brandon. Mr. Goodell told me that he would look into the incident. A few weeks later, I emailed him with the same concerns. I never received a call from him or the NFL as a victim regarding my fear and concerns. A few months after, the NFL stated that Brandon Marshall would get a 3 game suspension; however, it was reduced to a 1 day suspension by the time the season began.
“Roger Goodell and the NFL have failed me as a victim … How many women will have to die or pass on the abuse from themselves to their children, who will either become victims themselves or perpetrators.”
Spivey also referenced a 2007 incident in which she went to rescue Rasheedah Watley, Marshall’s girlfriend at the time, during another altercation:
“Awaiting the arrival of the police, we saw Brandon get into his vehicle. He drove up behind us and proceeded to ram the back of my car, reversing and pulling forward to hit us a second and third time.
“After ramming my vehicle, Brandon exited his car and located a boulder of cement. Once he retrieved the cement, he threw it into the passenger side of the front door where Rasheedah was sitting. He demanded she get out of the car. I was in fear for her and my safety. Brandon finally jumped in his car and drove away once again before the police arrived, 12 minutes after my initial call.”
The statements, which you can read in full on Robbie Rosenhaus’ Twitter feed, paint a disturbing picture not just of Goodell’s failure to act in the situation, but also of the details behind Marshall’s troubles with the law during the earlier parts of his NFL career, many of which he has publicly addressed.
He has always denied abusing Watley, and he has stayed out of trouble since being diagnosed and treated for borderline personality disorder, but these accusations of negligence on the part of the NFL in handling this situation surely demand an answer both from the receiver and from the Bears.
Bears general manager Phil Emery late Wednesday issued a statement that Marshall had the "full support of the Chicago Bears."
Marshall said he would address the allegations on Thursday.