The New York Giants issued a statement Thursday regarding kicker Josh Brown and the recently released documents that detail his admission of a history of incidents of domestic violence against his former wife.
At this time, the only penalty Brown will face from the Giants will be to remain behind while New York travels to London to face the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, according to the statement.
Josh Brown will not travel with the team to London.
In light of the news reports regarding the documents released by the State of Washington yesterday, we think it makes sense to review this newly disclosed information and to revisit this issue following our trip to London.
The Giants do not condone or excuse any form of domestic violence. Josh has acknowledged that he has issues in his life and has been working on these issues through therapy and counseling for a long period of time.
We remain supportive of Josh and his efforts.
Brown served a one-game suspension from the NFL at the beginning of the 2016 season stemming from an arrest for domestic violence against his former wife. The Giants were aware of Brown’s history of domestic violence when they re-signed him and continue to publicly stand by him.
Giants owner John Mara said during a radio appearance on WFAN 660 Thursday that “it’s too early to tell” what the outcome will be with Brown and what his future with the team may be. Mara also confirmed that Brown had made the team aware of his history.
"He admitted to us he'd abused his wife in the past,” Mara said. “What's a little unclear is the extent of that."
Brown’s former wife told police that Brown was violent toward her on over 20 separate occasions, including when she was pregnant.
It’s not surprising that Mara believes the extent of the abuse Brown inflicted on his former wife is “a little unclear,” given that Mara said the team never spoke to Brown’s ex-wife in the course of its investigation.
Both the NFL and the Giants had the latitude, based on the information available at the time, to apply a six-game suspension when they first became aware of Brown’s arrest and the extensive domestic violence allegations. Instead, Brown was only suspended for the season opener.
The league blamed Brown’s minimal punishment on the lack of information and evidence available during the investigation to aid in forming a plan for discipline for Brown. Brown’s ex-wife did not cooperate with the league’s investigation, which led to the one-game suspension.
However, when Brown was initially suspended multiple media outlets reported much of the information contained in the letters, journal entries and other documents that were released recently. Reporters got the information from the Browns’ divorce documents, which are a matter of public record and accessible to anyone who wishes to review them and is willing to go through the appropriate channels to obtain them, including the NFL.
The league has had to deal with several high-profile domestic violence incidents in recent years, and despite insistence that the league cares about violence against women and children, these issues are handled poorly. Brown is no exception.
The Giants’ staunch refusal to distance the organization from Brown’s actions doesn’t make much sense. Brown won’t travel to London, and there is no other kicker on the roster at present, so the Giants will have to sign someone. If Brown remains on the roster, the team will have to cut another player and carry two kickers for this week.
The Giants could just part ways with Brown. They could have done this weeks ago, when he was facing the one-game suspension. On Friday, head coach Ben McAdoo reiterated to the media that the Giants would not “turn their back” on Brown.
On Thursday Mara repeatedly mentioned Brown’s “good-faith effort to rehabilitate himself.”
"I think (Brown has) attempted to be honest with us,” Mara said.
The team acknowledged that Brown told them he had physically abused his wife, and if the team does not condone domestic violence, his honesty should have led to actual consequences. There is no excuse for the Giants’ continued public support of Brown.
It’s disingenuous for the team to say they “do not condone or excuse any form of domestic violence,” because refusing to subject Brown to any sort of significant discipline is most certainly condoning and excusing his decisions to abuse his former wife.