Famous Footballer Fined for Not Following a Dress Code

December 10, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. cleats [kleets] (n.) – a kind of sports shoes with rubber or wood attached to the bottom
Example: The cleats help football players run safely and fast on the field even when raining.

2. unlike [uhn-LAHYK] (prep.) – different from
ExampleUnlike cancer, tuberculosis is much easier to treat.

3. stigma [STIG-muh] (n.) – the negative beliefs attached to something that the society considers as unacceptable
Example: The stigma of being HIV positive makes the man’s life more miserable.

4. abysmal [uh-BIZ-muh l] (adj.) – extremely terrible; severe
Example: Because of drug addiction, his life has become abysmal.

5. foundation [foun-DEY-shuh n] (n.) – an organization created for a charitable purpose
Example: The superstar’s foundation aims to help victims of natural calamities all over the world.


Read the text below.
The National Football League (NFL) has fined football player Brandon Marshall $10,500 for not wearing pink cleats in a game last October.

NFL has instructed players to wear pink cleats as a sign of support to the Breast Cancer Awareness month. However, Marshall of Chicago Bears wore green cleats instead of pink to show his support for Mental Health Awareness week, which was held the same month.

Marshall argues that mental health deserves to be promoted because unlike breast cancer, it receives too little attention. While many people are not well-informed about this problem, some still recognize the stigma attached to mental illnesses. Thus, a lot of people remain unwilling to accept being mentally ill and thus cannot receive the proper help they need.

In 2011, Marshall himself was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. It is a chronic mental illness that causes extreme difficulties in controlling one’s emotions, leading to intense anger, troublesome relationships, and suicide attempts. Because of his condition, Marshall had an abysmal life of domestic violence, drunk driving, and more.

Fortunately, through proper diagnosis and therapy, Marshall is now able to cope with the disorder well. According to him, he now feels like he is living a healthy, normal life.

While the NFL has imposed sanctions because of what he did, Marshall takes the issue positively. He plans to match the fine and donate it to his own charity. The cleats he wore are also currently being auctioned off. He will then donate the proceeds to his foundation, which aims to promote mental health awareness. 

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you agree that mental health needs more attention than breast cancer? Why or why not?
·         In what other ways can Brandon Marshall promote mental health awareness? Explain.

Discussion B

·         Do you think sports is a good avenue to promote mental health awareness?
·         How can we encourage people to properly treat those who have mental illnesses? Explain.


December 10, 2013