Chicago Bears wide receiver gifts part of his contract extension to charity
After signing a three-year, $30 million contract extension, Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall donated $1 million of the deal to help raise awareness of mental health issues, including bipolar disorder, anxiety and depression.
“My wife and I prayed on it,” Marshall told the ESPN “First Take” crew Tuesday. “You have to put your money where your mouth is. We wanted to create discussion. It’s needed.”
It’s a topic about which the Pro Bowl wideout is passionate. Diagnosed with borderline personality disorder in 2011, Marshall, 30, has become a vocal mental health awareness advocate. “It’s a taboo topic,” he said, “but it should be in the forefront. One in four of us suffers from some sort of mental health disorder.”
His new deal doesn’t go into effect until the 2015 season, after his current four-year contract expires, extending his career with the Bears through the 2017 season, but his $1 million gift to charity during Mental Health Awareness Month may well be the better story. “We are challenging the community to put their money—whether it’s 10 cents, $100 or $1 million—toward the cause so we can bring resources to those who may be suffering in silence,” he said. “I try to use my story to inspire others, to help them. I’m lucky I’m still here. My job moving forward is to continue being transparent.”