Professional football players in the middle of their season are incredibly busy people. That’s why New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall’s presence at the inaugural Rock ‘n’ Roll Brooklyn Marathon was particularly special. The 31-year-old All-Pro surprised members of his foundation, Project375, with 2 miles to go in the half marathon on Saturday.
The 6-foot-4, 230-pound Marshall leads his team with 30 receptions, 400 yards and 3 touchdowns this year. The 3-1 Jets have a bye this weekend and are scheduled to play the Washington Redskins on Oct. 18.
“It’s your world,” Marshall said after his run in response to a question about how some people on the sidelines may feel seeing him come across the finish line. “A lot of times we get caught up in how others see us. Go out there and be yourself and be comfortable.”
Marshall’s foundation seeks to build awareness and getting people comfortable talking about mental illness to help eradicate the stigma. “We’re all dealing with issues,” Marshall says. “With Project375 we want to build a safe community where we are validated. And that’s a big deal, because this world can be so nasty, and when you’re dealing with something—whether it’s a physical ailment or a mental-health condition—it’s always good where you can go through it where someone understands you in a safe environment.”
Marshall said he enjoyed his experience on Saturday. “The race was fun. If you’re having a hard time getting started running…there are all shapes, sizes, and colors out there. We look forward to being back next year and hopefully in all the Rock ‘n’ Roll races.”