Even though NFL players are locked out due to an ongoing labor dispute, Dolphins receiver Brandon Marshall's involvement in a domestic dispute that led to him being stabbed in the abdomen by his wife could result in punishment by the NFL once the league resumes operations.
According to a Broward County Sheriff's police report, Marshall's wife, Michi Nogami-Marshall confessed that she stabbed her husband while acting in self defense. Brandon Marshall has not been charged in the incident.
But if it is determined that his actions led his wife to injure him, the NFL might take disciplinary measures.
Less than 12 hours before the incident, Adolpho Birch, the NFL's vice president of law and labor policy, said all players and league personnel are subject to the league's personal conduct policy and could face sanctions by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Even though the incident occurred during the lockout.
"We’ve made it very clear that the personal conduct policy is more than about the players," told reporters and editors during a press briefing at the league's headquarters yesterday. "It’s about a standard of behavior expected of everyone that’s expected of everyone associated with our league. That is, frankly, the commissioner’s obligation of duty to address matters that have a negative impact on our league, now more than ever. The labor status, is it a suggestion that if a person goes to an employer and says don’t look at that thing that I did two weeks ago before I started working here?"
Birch said it is not.
"The Commissioner’s authority arising out of the Constitution and Bylaws, player contracts and everything else, gives him authority to deal with matters involving the best interests of our game," he said. "That is not going to change under any scenario we can envision. As a result, he is obligated and has a duty to enforce rules of discipline and sanction that address matters that have a negative impact on our game. Free agents who have come back into our league have had issues once they’ve come back and we’ve dealt with those. We talked about Combine guys and guys that had a problem in the NCAA that we felt was necessary to address. Because I can guarantee you that the fan does not look at this current status as indicative of whether or not there is an issue that the NFL needs to address."
NFL vice president Eric Grubman added that it's not only players who face consequences for their actions during the lockout.
"Every one of us is subject to the personal conduct policy," he said. "We don’t have a contract but we’re subject to these rules. In addition, if I had done something that came to light before I became an employee, I’m still held to that standard. So violations that I commit even without a contract or before I sign a contract; I’m still subject to the discipline which can be pretty severe because it’s the same policy for all of us."