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NFL Needs to Get the Josh Brown Punishment Correct

(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)


The entire NFL world shook after new police documents were released about New York Giants kicker Josh Brown’s past with domestic violence.

Journal entries and emails by Brown surfaced by the King County (Washington) Sherriff’s Office during a domestic violence arrest involving his now ex-wife, Molly Brown, on May 22, 2015.

Molly Brown had stated that there were more than 20 acts of physical abuse towards her by Josh Brown, eight of which were reported to police. Josh Brown has previously served a one game suspension this season for this incident, which received a lot of backlash from players, fans, and organizations that are against domestic violence. The NFL said this was a “just” punishment because the charges against Brown were dropped by the Sheriff’s Office. The entries that were released in the police reports are bone-chilling, to say the least.

“I made selfish decisions to use and abuse women starting at the age of 7 to fill this void,” said Brown. “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.”

The NFL released a statement regarding the new findings in these police reports:

“NFL investigators made repeated attempts – both orally and in writing – to obtain any and all evidence and relevant information in this case from the King County Sheriff’s Office. Each of those requests was denied and the Sheriff’s Office declined to provide any of the requested information, which ultimately limited our ability to fully investigate this matter.

We concluded our own investigation, more than a year after the initial incident, based on the facts and evidence available to us at the time and after making exhaustive attempts to obtain information in a timely fashion. It is unfortunate that we did not have the benefit or knowledge of these materials at the time.”

King County Sheriff’s John Urquhart took exception to this statement by the NFL, releasing a statement of their own:

“I don’t like the NFL taking shots at the sheriff’s office when it’s not deserved. It’s real simple.
I’m all about transparency and I talk about that all the time but transparency stops when it compromises an investigation and no open investigation will we ever give out to anybody. I don’t care if it’s the NFL, a football player, whomever it is. And that’s exactly what was done in this case. We crossed our I’s, we dotted our T’s. Period.”

The Giants released a statement on Thursday, saying that Josh Brown will not make the trip to London for their game against the Los Angeles Rams. The Giants made a corresponding move, signing free agent kicker Robbie Gould, who had spent the past ten seasons with the Chicago Bears.

The Giants organization, however, has been at the brunt of controversy based on their comments regarding the whole situation. Giants owner John Mara appeared on WFAN and made the following comments:

“[Brown] certainly admitted to us that he abused his wife in the past,” said Mara. “What’s a little unclear is the extent of that.”

Ouch. This does not look good for the Giants organization, which was based on the reputation of being “classy.” Comments like this are far from “classy.” Mara admitted on Thursday, October 20, that the organization did not contact Molly Brown prior to re-signing Josh Brown to a two year, $4 million contract. This drives the organization farther from their previous “classy” title and it is deserving for their lack of research into Brown’s past before signing him to a brand new contract.

As of Friday, October 21, Josh Brown has been placed on the commissioner’s exempt list, making it unlikely that he’ll ever play for the Giants again. The NFL has stated that they will reopen investigation and determine a punishment for Brown.

In the past, the NFL has committed blunders on their punishment process for players who violate the league’s Personal Conduct Policy. Back on February 15, 2014, Ray Rice was suspended only two games for punching his then fiancée (now wife), Janay Palmer, in an elevator at the Revel Casino in Atlantic City and dragging her across the lobby floor. NFL stated that they did not have the substantial evidence to give a longer suspension. Shortly after, TMZ released video footage from the elevator, showing Rice striking his wife in the face and dragging her across the floor. The Baltimore Ravens subsequently released Rice from his contract, and the NFL gave him an indefinite suspension.

Back on May 13, 2014, Greg Hardy was arrested for physically assaulting his ex-girlfriend. On July 15, Hardy was sentenced to 18 months’ probation.  However, after his ex-girlfriend failed to appear in court, the charges were dropped. On April 22, 2015, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Hardy for ten games for using physical force against his ex-girlfriend on four separate occasions. However, on July 10, 2015, an arbiter reduced Hardy’s suspension to four games. The Dallas Cowboys signed Hardy to a one year, $11.3M contract, and his lone season with the team was a public relations nightmare.

Hardy showed no remorse for his previous actions, replying with the now infamous, “I’m going to come out guns blazing,” which was extremely distasteful, considering one of the accusations against him was throwing his ex-girlfriend onto a futon filled with rifles. In his first game returning from suspension, Hardy made derogatory comments towards Tom Brady’s wife, Gisele Bundchen. In a Week 7 matchup against the Giants, Hardy was shown shoving Cowboys special teams coach Rich Bisaccia on the sidelines and getting into a heated argument with Dez Bryant, who was trying to calm Hardy down. Following the game, Hardy rudely refused to answer any questions from the media, replying only with, “no comment.” Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett was not thrilled by Hardy’s actions off the field, his behavior towards younger players, and his Twitter posts. On November 10, Hardy had the domestic violence charges expunged from his record. The next day, the website Deadspin released police photographs of Hardy’s ex-girlfriend’s injuries. If you have seen these images, you’d be disgusted that Hardy had gotten away with this appalling crime.

These two examples show how the NFL has failed to properly punish players who commit domestic violence crimes. The NFL continues to air commercials starring players, decrying domestic violence against women. However, these commercials don’t work when Commissioner Goodell and other league officials can’t give a proper punishment to players who are guilty of committing these heinous crimes. Domestic violence against women should not be condoned.

The NFL’s reputation has sunk and now with these revelations about Josh Brown, their reputation just sunk even lower. If the NFL wants to regain the trust of the public and their own players, they have to give Brown the proper punishment that he deserves.

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General Editor and New York Giants Lead Writer.
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