Charles Martin (American football)

Charles Martin
No. 94
Date of birth August 31, 1959
Place of birth Canton, Georgia
Date of death January 26, 2005(2005-01-26) (aged 45)
Career information
Position(s) Defensive end
College West Alabama
Career history
As player
1983 Birmingham Stallions (USFL)
1984–1987 Green Bay Packers
1987 Houston Oilers
1988 Atlanta Falcons
Career stats

Charles Martin (August 31, 1959 – January 26, 2005) was a professional American football player, who is best known for his days with the Green Bay Packers.

Martin is noted for causing a season-ending injury to Chicago Bears starting quarterback Jim McMahon on November 23, 1986.

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.[1] 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 19841987, the Oilers in 1987, and the Falcons in 1988.

Martin died in 2005 at age 45, due to complications from kidney failure.


  1. Janofsky, Michael (November 26, 1986). "Martin Of Packers Suspended". The New York Times.
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