The Real Reason Winston Marshall Quit Mumford And Sons

Banjo player and founding member of Mumford & Sons, Winston Marshall, is officially quitting the band after social media backlash continued following the now-former bandmate's controversial opinion about a ring-wing commentator. 

It all started in March 2020 when Marshall took to Twitter to express his support for right-wing commentator Andy Ngo's book "Unmasked: Inside Antifa's Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy." "Congratulations @MrAndyNgo. Finally had the time to read your important book. You're a brave man," Marshall wrote (via ET Online). The tweet was met with much criticism, which spread to the other members of Mumford & Sons. The backlash sparked an apology from the artist, who promised to "examine [his] blindspots. He added, "For now, please know that I realise how my endorsements have the potential to be viewed as approvals of hateful, divisive behaviour. I apologise, as this was not at all my intention."

In an op-ed posted to his own Medium on June 24, Marshall broke the news to fans he is leaving the band. In the post, Marshall called his time with the band "exhilarating" and reminisced on the positive moments to come from the Grammy-winning group. Yet, the positive wasn't enough to outweigh the negative ... or so it seems. Here's what else he wrote.

Winston Marshall is leaving the band to 'speak my mind'

In the op-ed titled "Why I"m Leaving Mumford & Sons," now-former bandmate Winston Marshall revealed he is leaving the folk band to be able to speak freely about politics without the added backlash to his bandmates. "I have spent much time reflecting, reading and listening," wrote Marshall, who earlier vowed to take a break to reevaluate himself after praising the book of a right-wing commentator. "The truth is that my commenting on a book that documents the extreme Far-Left and their activities is in no way an endorsement of the equally repugnant Far-Right. The truth is that reporting on extremism at the great risk of endangering oneself is unquestionably brave. I also feel that my previous apology in a small way participates in the lie that such extremism does not exist, or worse, is a force for good."

The banjo player continued, standing his ground, "I could remain and continue to self-censor but it will erode my sense of integrity. Gnaw my conscience. I've already felt that beginning. The only way forward for me is to leave the band. I hope in distancing myself from them I am able to speak my mind without them suffering the consequences." 

The remaining band members, Marcus Mumford, Ben Lovett, and Ted Dwane wished "all the best" for Marshall following the news in an Instagram post dedicated to their former bandmate.