The fact that the Giants and the NFL botched the Josh Brown domestic violence case is mind-boggling. The Giants were at one point considered to be the moral compass of the NFL. No more. The NFL continues to put out PSA after PSA to help bring about awareness about domestic violence, which is great. However, actions speak louder than words. Their actions continue to make their words ring hollow.
I get that ultimately this is about Josh Brown first and foremost. He should never kick for the Giants or in the NFL ever again. He would certainly never represent my team, if I ever owned one. For the NFL, there is very little trust by the public that they will handle these situations correctly. The Brown case is just the latest example. For the Giants, there was the trust in them, as an organization, that they would do the right thing. That trust is now gone.
Last January, after Ben McAdoo was introduced as Giants head coach, he did a Q&A with Steve Serby of the New York Post. Mixed in with the questions was this one,
Q: What won’t you tolerate as head coach?
A: Domestic violence is something that we’re all cracking down on in this league. That’s something that’s important to us as an organization, important to me as a man, and important to me as a coach.
This past August after the allegations and one game suspension of kicker Josh Brown, Giants co-owner John Mara said, “based on the facts that were placed in front of us, we’re comfortable with our decision to re-sign Josh and the league’s suspension. The easiest thing for us to do would be to get a new kicker. We’re trying to be fair to Josh. The easiest thing would be to say, ‘Terminate him, get rid of him.’ We’re trying to do the right thing. It’s not always easy.”
That statement was made after Brown’s ex-wife Molly Brown alleged that she had been abused by Brown on more than 20 occasions. Mara added in August, “when we made the decision to re-sign Josh, we were certainly aware of the arrest. We were also aware of the circumstances involved. The charges were dropped. Nothing has happened to make us change our position. We did our due diligence.”
The allegations by Molly Brown are no longer allegations as the incidents are now corroborated by the written word of Josh Brown.
We now know at the time that Mara did know that Brown had abused his ex-wife as he told WFAN last week during an interview. What was unclear to Mara and the Giants was the “extent” of it.
Documents were released this past week that were provided to officials by Molly Brown after Josh Brown’s arrest last May. She provided the journal entries as proof of his abuse. In the entries he admitted to abusing his wife and also mentioned that he had been molested as a young boy. “I have been a liar for most of my life. I made selfish decisions to use and abuse women starting at the age of sevento fill this void. I objectified women and never really worried about the pain and hurt I caused them. My ability to connect emotionally to other people was zero. My empathy levels were zero. Because I never handled these underlying issues I became an abuser and hurt Molly physically, emotionally and verbally. I viewed myself as God basically and she was my slave.”
How can Mara talking about the team doing their due diligence last August and admit that they knew of the domestic violence, but were unaware of the extent of it? How does Rob Agnew, working for the NFL, request the document from authorities but does not notify them that he is working for the NFL? Why does is always seem to be the NFL can’t handle domestic violence cases? How do they give Brown a one-game suspension when they knew about the Pro Bowl incident earlier this year along with the May 2015 arrest?
There is little to no confidence right now that the NFL league offices can handle anything properly aside from printing money. The Giants had built of a trust in the tristate area that they were the moral compass of the NFL. They were perceived to be the shining light on the hill that would certainly do the right thing. That is no longer the case. That trust is broken and maybe it should never have been there to begin with. After all, this is the same organization that did employ Christian Peter, for just one example.
As the Giants continue to talk about being there for Josh Brown, maybe the Giants and the NFL should be concerned about being there for Molly Brown.