Tom Brady having defeated the NFL in his Deflategate court case and having his four-game suspension overturned last week was shocking news to many people.
Brandon Marshall wasn't one of them. The New York Jets' veteran wide receiver thinks the decision had a lot to do with race.
"The race card," Marshall said during a panel discussion on Showtime's Inside the NFL, as reported by ESPN. "There are a lot of players out there that believe that white players — specifically, at the quarterback position — are treated differently."
Marshall, who is entering his 10th season in the NFL, says the opinion is a shared sentiment not only in the Jets' locker room, but throughout the league as well.
"This is not just from our locker room, this is from locker rooms across the States," Marshall said. "This is how guys are feeling. This is not just my opinion. These are conversations I'm having with guys."
When asked if he believes Black players are held to a different standard, Marshall responded: "Absolutely. At times, yes."
Brady originally had his four-game suspension upheld after league commissioner Roger Goodell denied his appeal. However, that changed in court last week when a judge nullified the Deflategate court case, thus wiping away the quarterback's four-game ban.
Brady will lead the New England Patriots against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday night in the 2015 NFL season's opening game.
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(Photos from left: Joe Faraoni / ESPN Images, Spencer Platt/Getty Images)