Charles Martin (American football)
|Date of birth||August 31, 1959|
|Place of birth||Canton, Georgia|
|Date of death||January 26, 2005 45)(aged|
|1983||Birmingham Stallions (USFL)|
|1984–1987||Green Bay Packers|
During pre-game warm-ups, Martin displayed a white hand-towel with a list of Bears offensive players' numbers, which he wore during the game. He allegedly claimed that it was a hit-list. After Bears quarterback Jim McMahon threw an interception, Martin grabbed him from behind and body-slammed him shoulder first to the ground. Replays showed that Martin hit McMahon at least two seconds after the pass was thrown, well after McMahon was out of the play. McMahon landed full force on his previously injured shoulder—a situation exacerbated by Soldier Field's artificial turf surface of the time—and was knocked out for the rest of the season. Martin was ejected from the game by referee Jerry Markbreit and suspended for two games. This was the first multi-game suspension for an on-field incident in modern NFL history, and would remain the longest suspension for an on-field incident until Albert Haynesworth of the Tennessee Titans was suspended five games for stomping on the head of Dallas Cowboys center Andre Gurode in 2006. The hand towel was saved after the game but was later lost.
Having played college football at The University of West Alabama (then known as Livingston University), Martin began his pro football career with the Birmingham Stallions of the USFL in 1983. Martin played for the Packers from 1984–1987, the Oilers in 1987, and the Falcons in 1988.
Martin died in 2005 at age 45, due to complications from kidney failure.
- Janofsky, Michael (November 26, 1986). "Martin Of Packers Suspended". The New York Times.
- David Haugh (January 26, 2005). "To Bears fans, Charles Martin will always be recalled for the body slam that ended Jim McMahon's season in 1986. But there was more to the man they buried Monday.". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2006-11-14.