Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marhsall has broken the NFL’s rules against unauthorized endorsements and his decision has earned the applause of mental health workers, fans, and the press. The Bears star chose to wear lime-green cleats on Thursday night to support Mental Illness Awareness Week. While his fellow players work pink cleats to support medical research and foundations for cancer research, Marshall chose to focus on mental health issues. Mental Illness Week runs from October 6 through October 12.
Earlier in the season Seattle Seahawks player Marshawn Lynch was fined $5,250 for wearing the incorrect colored cleats in a game.
Fans have thrown their support behind Marshall, noting that it is absurd to fine a player for wearing bright green cleats during a game in which hot pink cleats were actually encouraged.
Brandon Marshall was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder in 2011 and instead of hiding behind the disease he became a full-time advocate for mental health awareness.
Before the game Marshall said he was willing to pay an NFL fine if it meant endorsing the cause. Throwing the lime green cleats right into the NFL’s face Marshall also said he would match his fine with a donation to charity.
“I’m going to get fined and I’m going to match that, and we want to partner with a cancer-care [charity],” Marshall told ESPN.com. “We’re still working on the details to give, really give back to an organization that is doing work in the mental health area. [Also], the diagnosis of breast cancer can hit families hard. It affects all of us.”
The biggest winner regardless of the NFL fine decision is definitely Mental Illness Awareness Week, a time that is often overshadowed by Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Brandon Marshall wasn’t exactly hiding his plans, in the weeks leading up to the game he advertised his lime green cleats on his Twitter and Instagram accounts.