Bears WR Marshall answers past abuse claims

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LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall believes attempts to link his troubled past to the controversy about NFL domestic violence have been made only for personal gain.

Marshall spent 40 minutes Thursday responding to allegations made a day earlier in Marietta, Georgia.

The father of a woman who once dated Marshall called for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to resign because he's disappointed in the way his daughter's abuse allegations were handled. Clarence Watley said his daughter, Rasheedah Watley, was abused by Marshall. Prominent attorney Gloria Allred called the news conference amid scrutiny of how the league handles abuse allegations against its players.

Marshall was with the Denver Broncos at the time the allegations surfaced. He was suspended for three games in 2008, but the suspension was reduced to one game. He denied the allegations and was never convicted. In some of the episodes, charges weren't filed.

Marshall said he thought the news conference was an attempt to use his past problems to attack Goodell. He said he thinks Goodell is doing the right thing by toughening punishments for domestic violence.

"It's not the NFL's job to raise men. We're kidding ourselves if we think it's the NFL's job to take boys from college and raise them to men," Marshall said. "It is a problem in our marriages, a problem in our communities, a problem in the way we coach children and parenting - that's where it starts. It doesn't start with the NFL, it doesn't start with the government, it starts at home."

Marshall, who said he suffers from borderline personality disorder, provided reporters with therapist reports and testimony he said came from Watley that she had not been attacked by Marshall. The packet also had letters asking for payment from Marshall. He said they had demanded "$1 million, $500,000, $150,000 and $100,000."

"There is a letter from the Watleys, from Ms. Rasheedah Watley to the commissioner in 2008, where she states, I was pressured to do this for money," Marshall said. "My family pressured me, this stuff didn't happen. Which isn't all true because it was a very volatile relationship. We argued every single day. We treated each other bad. We had no business being in a relationship."

Chicago Bears General Manager Phil Emery said Marshall has acknowledged his past and is now a thoughtful and proactive team leader. Broncos officials said the allegations of abuse were taken very seriously and the franchise doesn't condone violence of any type toward women.

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