ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall posted on social media a racist, threatening letter that denounced him for taking a knee during the national anthem earlier this season. He said he wanted to expose the racism that exists in society.
Marshall said he received the letter a couple of weeks ago and turned it over to the team’s security department, which has been in contact with the NFL and local law enforcement.
Marshall posted the letter written on front and back in block lettering, on his social media accounts alongside his caption, which read: ”The hatred by some against people of color is one of the reasons we are where we’re at in the world today, and they wonder why we feel the way we do and take the stances that we take.” He also noted, ”I received this letter at work.”
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”I just wanted to expose that racism still exists,” Marshall told reporters in the locker room Friday about an hour after posting the letter. ”I wanted expose that people still hate each other. We still hate each other, whether it’s because of your belief system or the color of your skin, whatever the case may be.”
Marshall said he quickly received hundreds of messages of support, although one detractor suggested he shouldn’t have posted it because it gave voice to the author.
”No, I did the right thing because it needs to be seen,” Marshall countered.
Marshall showed photos of the envelope and letter he snapped on his iPhone before turning them over to team security.
The letter came in an envelope purporting to be from ”Mrs. Jackson’s sixth-grade class” in Denver and scribbled on the back were the words ”We love you, Mr. Marshall.”
That was designed to make sure he read the letter, said Marshall, adding he suspects it was actually written by an adult.
The return address listed a middle school and address, which don’t match any middle schools in Colorado.
Marshall has received both positive and negative feedback for following college teammate Colin Kaepernick `s lead in protesting social and racial injustice by taking a knee during the national anthem over the first half of the season.
He ended his protest by saying he would go on a police drive-along and participate in a police shoot-or-don’t-shoot simulator while also increasing his charitable endeavors. Coach Gary Kubiak stood next to him when he ended his protest at Oakland in Week 9, saying he was proud of the way Marshall had handled the situation.
Marshall, who lost endorsements over his actions , has received a lot of hate mail for kneeling during the ”Star Spangled Banner.” But he said he publicized this particular letter because it threatened him with bodily harm and was especially vitriolic.
He said he didn’t fear for his safety, though.
Marshall, who won’t play this weekend when the Broncos (8-4) visit Tennessee (6-6) because of a pulled left hamstring, said he discovered the letter while catching up on a stack of fan mail in his locker. When he came across this one, he passed it around to teammates before turning it over to team security.
”It was disgusting,” linebacker Shane Ray said.
”We were appalled by it,” added linebacker Corey Nelson, who will start in Marshall’s place Sunday. ”We told him don’t worry about it, don’t let that get into your head or get into your heart.”
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