Former Miami Dolphins WR Brandon Marshall has Las Vegas-NFL concerns

Former Miami Dolphins wide receiver Brandon Marshall was an invited speaker at the NFL owner’s meetings. Marshall, as usual, was outspoken. (Allen Eyestone/The Palm Beach Post)

PHOENIX — Former Miami Dolphins wide receiver Brandon Marshall was a guest speaker at the NFL owner’s meetings on Monday.

After his speech to NFL leadership, which included commentary on the importance of NFL players as threads in their communities, Marshall said it’s important for players’ voices be heard.

As NFL owners were hearing a presentation by the Oakland Raiders prior to a vote on their proposed move to Las Vegas, Marshall candidly expressed some concerns about the move to the Sin City.

“It can be a tough place for a player coming out of college,” Marshall said. “It can be overwhelming for a young player.”

Marshall said that his concern is always protecting players. And he recalled that as a younger player he didn’t always make the best choices.

In fact, Marshall said he was a “troubled young kid” who was embraced by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Marshall recalled how he has regularly called and even visited with Goodell over the years.

So while Marshall stated that Las Vegas is a beautiful city with more to offer than simply the Las Vegas Strip, he obviously has some reservations about the city, which offers legal gambling, including sports books.

Marshall added that while he’d be sad to see the franchise leave Oakland, the NFL is a business.

Marshall was asked if he believes Goodell would ever “blackball” a player, which seemed to be a reference to Colin Kaepernick, the quarterback who hasn’t found work after controversially kneeling in protest during national anthems last seasons.

Marshall said that no, he does not believe Goodell would do that to a player.

But, in general, Marshall does believe there is room for improvement in the relationships between owners and players.

“We are people, not just gladiators,” Marshall said.

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