We haven’t even entered the first week of the NFL season and there’s already another Roger Goodell controversy.
Rewind to May of 2015. Giants kicker Josh Brown was arrested in King County, Washington, for physically abusing his wife. The arrest was for a single-incident yet Molly Brown told authorities that over the years, Josh abused her more than 20 times. Via The Daily News:
Molly Brown said she started calling the police and estimated she had called the police 10 times prior to the incident that prompted Josh Brown’s arrest in 2015. She estimated that Brown has said he was going to kill her four or five times but added she initially didn’t think he meant it but eventually started to take him seriously.
Six days after his arrest, the case was dropped by the prosecutor but Molly still submitted to a 2 hour, 13 minute interview that transcribed into 58 pages. The couple has since divorced.
Strangely, the incident did not go public until recently, when we learned of Brown’s one game suspension. Yep, that’s right. One game. And the initial public notice was for an undisclosed reason!
The league’s reasoning for just one game? It couldn’t get additional information on the prior 20 allegations of abuse:
“The NFL made a finding that Mr. Brown had violated the Personal Conduct Policy. We did so based on the evidence of this one incident as presented in the police report, Mr. Brown and his wife’s statements to police that evening, and his statements in interviews with the NFL…After reviewing the evidence in this one incident, we imposed a one-game suspension for violation of the personal conduct policy.”
The suspension would be understandable but for the NFL’s new “personal conduct policy” that states there will be 6-game suspension for a domestic policy violation. In fact, it says a second violation warrants a lifetime ban from the league. So…one violation, according to the league, is enough for a 6 game suspension, no?
Was Brown’s suspension a slap in the face to women who believed the league was going to stand up against domestic violence?
Well, according to Giants owner John Mara, the press shouldn’t be inquiring about the team keeping its kicker because this is a “privacy issue.” Via The NY Daily News (with raw audio of Mrs. Brown’s 911 call):
“I’m not gonna get into that. And that’s one of the reasons why I hesitated quite frankly in addressing all of you because you get into discussions like that and I don’t think it’s fair or appropriate. There are privacy issues here. There are sensitive, emotional issues that affect families.”
Let’s believe (for a second) that the NFL tried sooooo hard to get additional information on Josh’s other alleged violent conduct but it could not. The league still had a past criminal act to consider, when Josh was arrested in college for assault in 2001:
From an Associated Press report:
Brown was arrested June 16 for fighting with a man who was on a date with Brown’s ex-girlfriend. Police said Brown had been drinking and waited for the couple outside her apartment. The woman tried to get between Brown and the other man, Brown threw her to the ground before tackling the other man and punching him, police said.
Wait! Maybe Goodell let him off so easy because Josh is a Christian! In 2012, he told religious blog beliefnet:
“There’s no measure to the grace that God has shown me. No measure. Every day, we thank Him for that. We make our kids very aware of how fortunate we are, not only financially but just to be together, to have a home, to have the ability to love on each other freely and practice our faith freely. It’s an unbelievable feeling to know that somebody loved me enough to not only die for me but to give me the opportunity to screw it up and love me enough to let me back in. That’s what’s amazing to me.
Don’t think that this decision shows that the NFL doesn’t care about women because it needs us to buy their silly pink jerseys for breast cancer “charity.” But beyond spending $100 on bubblegum pink gear, the league and its teams don’t give a damn. To them, domestic violence is a family issue…or maybe an issue between Josh and G-d….unless the abuse is recorded inside of an elevator. Otherwise, you’re on your own, ladies. [Direct link to segment here.]
Originally published August 25, 2016