Brandon Marshall apologized to Sapp

Updated: September 27, 2012, 4:01 PM ET
By Jeff Dickerson | ESPNChicago.com

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall said Thursday he regrets his decision to respond publicly to a derogatory comment by Warren Sapp and has apologized to the television analyst.

Sapp was critical of Marshall during an interview on "The Dan Patrick Show" on Friday, saying, "These kids that play the game today have no relevance for the past, have no conscious of what it is. ... I mean, Brandon Marshall talking about Shannon Sharpe. ... 'Who is he to talk?' He's the first 100-catch receiver (tight end) back to back, retard."

Marshall posted a couple of videos criticizing Sapp for everything from his finances to his relationship with his children, but he said Thursday he should have handled the situation privately.

"That thing started like a year ago," Marshall said. "It was actually Sterling Sharpe that made the comment, and I made the comment back last year. It took me by surprise last year. I will say, if I could do it again, I really meant everything I said, but I think it would have helped him more if I would have kept it private.

"So I apologize to Warren Sapp for saying that publicly. Like I said, I meant everything I said, but where I'm at in my life I need to learn from that and definitely keep that private. It started off as something he said publicly, and I talked to him a little bit privately over email, and it didn't go the way I wanted it to. So we'll both learn from this and be better men."

Marshall, who has disclosed publicly that he has received treatment for borderline personality disorder and anger management, called out Sapp in two videos posted Monday morning that appear to have been shot by a camera mounted on his vehicle's dashboard.

"I got a really disturbing heads-up on something Warren Sapp said, called me retarded. That's really disappointing to hear that from an NFL legend, but I'm going to take this as a lesson, and I think we all can learn from this," Marshall said in the video posted online.

"Be very careful who you take advice from. You want to surround yourself with good people, godly people. When I look at Warren Sapp, I can't go to him and talk about finances because he filed for bankruptcy. I can't go to him and talk about my marriage because he filed for divorce. I can't go to him and talk about being a father, because one day I'm going to have children, because he's not active in his children's life."

Sapp, an NFL Network analyst and 13-year veteran, sent a message to the Chicago Tribune later Monday apologizing.

"I want to apologize to all those who I offended with my poor choice of words," Sapp wrote. "I certainly meant no disrespect to those who have some type of disability or special needs."

The media-savvy Marshall would seem to be a good fit for a job as a television analyst after his playing career, but the receiver said it would be tough to be expected to criticize other players.

"Some people say I have talent to do the job when I'm done (playing), but it would be really tough for me because I know when it's all said and done I wasn't perfect," Marshall said Thursday. "I didn't play perfect football. You definitely have to critique and give constructive criticism, but when you criticize guys like you never made mistakes before, it just puts you in a bad position.

"I wish there was another way to do it. I know there is another way to do it, but you expect a lot from guys who have played the game before and understand how tough it is week in and week out mentally and physically. Like I said, we definitely need to use our words as a football player to uplift and not destroy because our words are so powerful."

Jeff Dickerson | email

Chicago Bears beat reporter
Dickerson has been the Bears beat reporter for ESPN Chicago since 2004. He also hosts weeknight radio shows on ESPN 1000.

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