TIME Football

Chicago Bears Defend Brandon Marshall Over 2007 Assault Allegations

Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall looks on from the sidelines during a game against the Buffalo Bills in Chicago on Sept. 7, 2014.
Scott Boehm—AP Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall looks on from the sidelines during a game against the Buffalo Bills in Chicago on Sept. 7, 2014.

“Brandon has the full support of the Chicago Bears"

Correction appended, Sept. 18

The Chicago Bears are standing behind receiver Brandon Marshall, after a Los-Angeles based attorney cited Marshall’s allegations of abuse from 2007 as a way to more widely criticize the NFL’s handling of players who have been charged with assault.

“Brandon has the full support of the Chicago Bears,” general manager Phil Emery said in a statement. “We were aware of his personal background when we traded for him in 2012 and equally aware of the tremendous efforts he made to bring positive changes in his life and in the lives of all the people around him.”

Marshall was arrested in 2007 after an incident with his former girlfriend Rasheeda Watley, who had already accused him of domestic violence on numerous occasions. Marshall has since insisted he never hit his ex-girlfriend and has been undergoing treatment for borderline personality disorder.

On Wednesday, attorney Gloria Allred said the NFL failed in the way it dealt with allegations against Marshall and called for a new approach to handling cases of abuse — as a way to urge the NFL to adopt a new process for handling violence.

The Bears’ reaction differs to the Cardinals and Panthers, both of which deactivated players on Wednesday after abuse charges surfaced.

Correction: The original version of this story included a photograph depicting a different Brandon Marshall than the Chicago Bears receiver.

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