Brandon Marshall's Brave Stand

I’ve always had a love for the game. Curling up in front of the TV with a nice hot bowl of my husband's homemade chili and a cold microbrew, windows open and fireplace on, watching football is hands-down one of our favorite fall pastimes. Last week I had a new reason to cheer and a new player to keep my eye on.

These days, I don’t keep close tabs on a favorite team, although I guess I’d say I’m a Redskins fan since we’ve been living here in Ashburn for the past 5 years. But last week a player caught my attention in a big way when he took a brave stand for mental health awareness.

Chicago Bears’ Wide Receiver Brandon Marshall {love the coincidence that we share the same last name} wore lime green cleats this past Thursday night during a game against the New York Giants. I didn’t watch the game, opting instead to focus my attention on the public's reaction to his decision to accept the fine the NFL was threatening him with and match it with a donation to a breast cancer charity via Twitter.

You know, because all the other players who were wearing PINK cleats weren’t issued fines for supporting the cause which we all know dominates the news in October.

Brandon was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder in 2011 and he created his own non-profit, The Brandon Marshall Foundation "to raise awareness for mental illness and help others to gain access to the resources they need to recover." {quoted from his website}

Why is it that a player isn’t allowed to show support for a mental health charity via the color of his shoes, but it’s perfectly acceptable to support a cancer charity by wearing a certain color shoe in a game? Again, society is so accepting of every other illness but diseases of the mind.

Doesn’t seem fair to me. But that's not what this is about.

This is about how a major sports figure used his passion as a vehicle for sharing his message and beliefs and hope for change in this world.

See for yourself:

Nice work, Brandon. Thank you for standing up for mental health awareness, leading these important conversations, and fighting stigma by being brave. We applaud you.