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Cris Carter mentors Brandon Marshall

NFL great Cris Carter has taken Brandon Marshall under his wing. Marshall has had a lot of trouble in the past, but things seem to be looking up. This morning on ESPN, Marshall sat by Carter as they discussed an article Marshall penned about sports depression.

(Photo: AP/Jim Prisching)
Marshall also discussed the outcome of a case where he was accused of punching a woman in the face at a club. Marshall was at the spot with his wife, when a fight broke out. Apparently, his wife was hit in the head with a beer bottle. A while ago Marshall's wife was arrested for stabbing him.

Marshall was cleared of any wrongdoing. On ESPN, Marshall spoke of the need for therapy and having good people around you in order to make good decisions. In the Chicago Sun-times article he penned after Junior Seau's suicide, Marshall wrote of having the tragedy become a teachable moment.

Marshall writes about the way boys are taught to deal with emotions, and how it later impacts them as men. (I've written about this in several blog posts, and I'm writing about it in my next book.) From the article:

The cycle starts when we are young boys and girls. Let me illustrate it for you:
Li’l Johnny is outside playing and falls. His dad tells him to get up and be strong, to stop crying because men don’t cry. So even from the age of 2, our belief system begins to form this picture. We are teaching our boys not to show weakness or share any feelings or emotions, other than to be strong and tough.
Is that ‘‘validating’’?
What do we do when Li’l Susie falls? We say: ‘‘It’s OK. I’m here. Let me pick you up.’’
That’s very validating, and it’s teaching our girls that expressing emotions is OK.
We wonder why it’s so hard to bridge the communication gap between men and women.
Those are the issues we rarely discuss. We don't talk about how men are hurting and in turmoil, because we want to keep the fantasy that men don't have emotions going. Then it is too late.  A man who has suffered for so long, who has nowhere to turn, turns within himself and becomes destructive.

Somewhere there must be balance.  Boys need to be nurtured and taught to deal with their feelings, and express their pains.  So it is a great thing that Marshall, who seemed to be on a downward spiral, looked up.  Cris Carter has stepped in the gap for him, like Tony Dungy did for Mike Vick.  There are other Marshalls out there who need more Cris Carters in their lives.

Photo from @burnstyler 


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