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Brandon Marshall addresses past domestic violence accusations, ESPN documentary

The Chicago Bears wide receiver addressed accusations of domestic violence and recent media coverage of his 2008 incident during a press conference Thursday.

Jonathan Daniel

Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall voiced his displeasure on the re-airing of an ESPN feature as well as at claims made by attorney Gloria Allred on Wednesday relating to a 2008 domestic violence incident.

The profile documented Marshall's involvement in domestic violence incidents, as well as his mental health. Marshall originally believed the program would focus on his football camp and a community weekend he was holding and felt betrayed when the final product originally aired.

Allred spoke in Atlanta Wednesday about an alleged incident involving Rasheedah Watley, claiming that a plea to the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell was ignored at the time. Watley was not with Allred at the press conference, but her father and friend were there. Marshall was tried and acquitted over the incident. His three-game suspension from the NFL was reduced to one.

The remastered version of the profile spliced in footage from the Bears' Sunday night game against the 49ers and included Marshall choosing not to answer questions about the Ray Rice incident.

Marshall provided 12 pages of courtroom documents and testimony related to the case, accusing ESPN of not doing its "due diligence" prior to repacking a 2012 episode of E:60 for broadcast earlier in the week. The documents included a letter from Watley saying that she was "pressured" into making the claims against Marshall.

"I refuse to sit back and continue to let ESPN or any other network or outlet exploit my story," he said.

The Bears wide receiver also discussed his mother's physical and sexual assault as well as his own encounters with abuse. Marshall spoke about the current state of affairs in the NFL with regards to how it handles domestic violence and other player conduct issues.

"The Ray Rice case is terrible, the things I've been through in the past are terrible. I believe there should be consequences," Marshall said.

He warned about the potential consequences of making conclusions about an incident before the legal process unfolds, cautioning against players being accused of things they did not do. Marshall added that he supports the stiffer punishment for domestic violence.

"This is not a problem in the NFL," he said. This is an epidemic in our world. It's not the NFL's job to raise men. It starts at home.

"This is a great opportunity right now ... to really raise awareness on these issues.''