A Fine For Denver Broncos' Brandon Marshall Would Be Ridiculous

Mark RudiCorrespondent IDecember 21, 2009

DENVER - DECEMBER 20:  Brandon Marshall #15 of the Denver Broncos wears a jersey bearing the name Henry prior to the start of the game against the Oakland Raiders at Invesco Field at Mile High on December 20, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. Chris Henry of the Cincinnati Bengals passed away Thursday.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

While the Cincinnati Bengals honored fallen teammate Chris Henry by wearing a No. 15 patch on their helmets Sunday, Denver Broncos wide receiver Brandon Marshall had a different idea.

Marshall, who was friends with Henry while the two were in college, decided to honor Henry by wearing Henry's nameplate on his jersey during pregame warm-ups before the Bronco's game against the Oakland Raiders.

However, the move by Marshall violates the NFL's uniform policy, as players cannot sport any nicknames, other player's name, or other numbers on their jerseys. Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco, who's last name was Johnson at the time, was fined in 2007 for his nameplate saying "Ocho Cinco" before the game.

Ochocinco also said earlier in the week that he would wear Henry's No. 15 jersey in Cincinnati's matchup with the San Diego Chargers Sunday, no matter how much money he would be finned. But he decided not to wear No. 15.

But for Marshall, this is a special circumstance. He wants to honor his fallen friend by wearing the nameplate on his jersey and I don't see any reason why the NFL should fine Marshall for this. Quite frankly, if the league does fine the Denver wide out, it would be ridiculous and I think the NFL would make a terrible mistake by doing so. 

There was a report Sunday afternoon that Marshall would receive a "hefty fine," and if he is, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell would make the "No Fun League" look terrible. Why would you send a message like that?

I can understand getting fined for putting nicknames on jerseys, but when a player is trying to honor another player, it's pretty sad. If a member of the Los Angeles Angels wore Nick Adenhart's No. 34 with Adenhart's name on the back short after his death on April 9, 2009, I don't think Bud Selig and Major League Baseball would have come after that player. 

"He [Henry] was a buddy of mine," Marshall told the Colorado Springs Gazette . "It's devastating to lose him, especially him getting on the right track and being able to turn things around." 

Henry and Marshall became buddies while the two played against each other in college. Henry played for West Virginia, while Marshall was at Central Florida. 

The NFL and Goodell need to recognize that Marshall's act was a tribute to his late friend and not an act of self promotion.

However, fanhouse.com is reporting that two league sources said that Goodell has not yet decided if he'll fine Marshall or not, but fines are not likely. 

Let's hope so. Fining Marshall would show no class in the league and would not be the right thing to do.