Bron­cos’ Mar­shall re­ceives threat­en­ing, racist let­ter

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Cameron Wolfe Cameron Wolfe: cwolfe@den­ver­ or @CameronWolfe

Bron­cos line­backer Bran­don Mar­shall knew his protest of the na­tional an­them, which con­sisted of him kneel­ing silently while the song was be­ing played be­fore Den­ver’s first eight games, would spark controversy and anger. But Mar­shall didn’t ex­pect the type of ou­trage he re­ceived in a racist, threat­en­ing let­ter that he re­leased Fri­day on In­sta­gram.

“It’s ex­tremely con­cern­ing,” Mar­shall said. “I wanted to ex­pose that racism still ex­ists. That’s the rea­son I put it out there — to ex­pose what ev­ery­body thought maybe was put to bed. But that stuff still ex­ists. … We still have a long way to go as peo­ple. Peo­ple still hate each other.”

Coach Gary Ku­biak said the Bron­cos were aware of the let­ter and have their se­cu­rity staff in­ves­ti­gat­ing it. The let­ter, which was sent anony­mously post­marked from “Mrs. Jack­son’s sixth grade class,” was de­liv­ered to Mar­shall at Bron­cos head­quar­ters two weeks ago dis­guised as fan mail.

Mar­shall brought the let­ter to the team’s at­ten­tion when he re­ceived it.

“Dis­gusted, dis­heart­en­ing, de­plorable. You can use a bunch of words for it,” said Mar­shall, who has re­ceived a lot of hate mail, but the threats made this one more alarm­ing. “That stood out to me that some­body would have that much hate or mal­ice to send it to me. It takes so much en­ergy to hate, and I just don’t un­der­stand that.”

Mar­shall’s two-part post had a cap­tion that read: “The ha­tred by some against peo­ple of color is one of the rea­sons we are where we’re at in the world to­day, and they wonder why we feel the way we do and take the stances that we take. I re­ceived this let­ter at work.”

“I was not much aware of that un­til this morn­ing,” Ku­biak said. “But I know that our or­ga­ni­za­tion is on top of it.”

Mar­shall, who won’t play in Sun­day’s road game against the Ten­nessee Ti­tans be­cause of a ham­string in­jury, was taken aback by the let­ter. Fel­low lineback­ers Shane Ray and Corey Nel­son were among Mar­shall’s team­mates who read the let­ter and were both­ered by what they read.

Mar­shall said he’s not afraid and doesn’t plan to have more per­sonal se­cu­rity. He said he be­lieves the Bron­cos’ se­cu­rity staff found fin­ger­prints on the let­ter that may help iden­tify who sent it.

Mar­shall hasn’t di­rectly in­volved po­lice, leav­ing the mat­ter to the Bron­cos’ se­cu­rity staff.

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