New York Giants wide receiver Brandon Marshall pulled the plug on an interview and walked out when radio show hosts tried to force him to discuss comments he made years ago about how races are treated different in the NFL.
Marshall, 33, was being interviewed during a remote broadcast of Boston-based WEEI’s ‘Kirk & Callahan Show’ at the Mohegan Sun Golf Club in Baltic, Connecticut on Thursday, while attending the Johnny Damon Celebrity Golf Classic.
The interview, which was captured on video and posted to Facebook, started off amicably enough with the hosts asking Marshall about his time playing for his recently departed former team, the New York Jets — in March, he signed a two-year contract with the Giants worth $12million.
But, after about four minutes, the hosts started to press Marshall about comments he made in the wake of the Deflategate controversy, which resulted in New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady being suspended for four games after it was decided that Patriots staff had purposely under-inflated game balls used during their January AFC Championship win against the Indianapolis Colts.
In September 2015, while appearing on Showtime’s ‘Inside the NFL,’ Marshall was quoted by NJ.com as having said, in part, that ‘white players, specifically at the quarterback position — are treated differently.’
Then, when asked if his fellow NFL players believed that black players were held to different standards than their white cohorts, Marshall answered, ‘Absolutely. At times, at times, at times, yes.’
On Thursday, when radio hosts Kirk Minihane and Gerry Callahan brought up Deflategate and his comments, Marshall first complimented the Patriots and admitted that Brady is ‘probably my man crush.’ He then attempted to put the 2015 comment into context by noting that ‘in sports, stars get treated differently.’
But, when Minihane and Callahan brought up the race side of his statements again, Marshall calmly replied, ‘I’m not getting into the race card with you guys. So if that’s what you guys want to do, you can go there, but black guys in America get treated differently, period, so I’ll just say that. Black guys in America get treated differently.’
When the hosts pressed Marshall a third time about race, Marshall can be seen in the video looking off to the side — presumably at a handler — while saying, ‘We done with this interview? Can I get off of this interview? Alright, I’m done with you guys.’
In response to the hosts asking him why he was ending the interview so abruptly, Marshall said, ‘Come on, man, you’re going back to a year ago, brother. You guys made news now. You got Brandon Marshall to say black guys get treated differently.’
He then said, ‘Change the subject or I’m getting off. I’m dropping the mic.’
The hosts then relented on the Deflategate issue and seemed primed to try to get him to talk about Marshall’s past legal issues, but before they could say anything substantial, Marshall — who has a history of legal troubles including alleged domestic violence and disorderly conduct — said, ‘Oh s***, I’m done with you guys, bye’ and then pulled off his headphones and stood up to walk away.
As he stood, he grabbed the lidless cup he’d been sipping from throughout the interview and accidentally spilled coffee on the table where the radio hosts had their laptops and other equipment.
‘I’m sorry man,’ Marshall said, moving the laptop out of the puddle and asking for a towel to clean up the spill.
As soon as the hosts asked Marshall what he’d prefer to be talking about, other than ‘the news of the day,’ however, Marshall gave up on cleaning up and walked away.
‘Tom Brady and stuff that happened a year ago isn’t the news of the day,’ he said as he headed towards the door.
Once Marshall was gone, Minihane and Callahan continued to broadcast, expressing their surprise that Marshall hadn’t expected them to discuss his previous comments and his legal issues.
They also said that they had intended to ask him about his 2011 announcement that he had been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.
During their chit chat with each other, the hosts called Marshall a ‘smart’ and ‘thoughtful’ guy. But, as they continued talking, Minihane said that Marshall ‘sounded like a coward’ for not wanting to discuss his almost two-year-old comments and said that his walking out of the interview was ‘pathetic.’
The audio-only version of the interview posted on WEEI appears to be edited to remove a short portion of both the hosts’ and Marshall’s comments — clearly audible in the Facebook video — immediately before the interview ends, making it seem as though Marshall’s exit came about more abruptly than it actually did.