Last week, New York Giants Kicker Josh Brown was put on the “Commissioner’s Exempt List” after it was revealed by Brown that he had been continually abusing his wife physically.
Police found documents from Brown personally stating to his family that he had been abusing his wife for a long time and how he viewed himself as compared to her:
Via Nancy Armour:USA Today Sports: “I viewed myself as God basically and she was my slave.”
In May 2015, Brown’s wife, Nancy, filed a report to the police that she had again been domestically abused and after the NFL found out about this, they only suspended Brown for one game.
This is a disaster for the NFL. When Ray Rice was seen on camera abusing his wife two years ago, he was initially suspended for only two games by the NFL. It took the Baltimore Ravens organization to release him for the NFL to eventually suspend him indefinitely.
To put this into perspective, the NFL has fined and suspended players more for infractions like Driving Under the Influence, taking banned substances, animal cruelty and others.
Players like Michael Vick (repeated dog fighting) and Josh Gordon (repeated substance abuse) have both been indefinitely suspended by the NFL after their infractions for repeatedly doing something wrong. So, my question to the NFL and Giants Owner John Mara is what makes domestic violence so different?
Think about it: Brown is on record saying that he has been abusing women since he was seven years old. He has openly acknowledged to the Giants and now to the NFL that he has repeatedly abused his wife physically, mentally, and emotionally. Again, this was all first reported in 2014, so Mara and the NFL have known about this for at least two years, maybe even more that’s off public record.
Roger Goodell specifically stated after the Ray Rice incident that the minimum suspension for first-time domestic abusers would be six games. The fact that the NFL has handed Brown a one game suspension is disrespectful to not only Brown’s now-former wife, but to anyone who has been domestically abused. The NFL went through more than a year of investigating Tom Brady and the Patriots for allegedly deflating footballs in a game, but had to “revisit” this domestic violence case that made it to their desk over two years ago.
So now the NFL has officially put him on the Commissioner’s Exempt List, which means that he will not be allowed to play in games or participate in practice while the NFL continues to “investigate” the case. Although he can’t participate with the team, he still gets paid most of his base $1.25 million salary this year.
The NFL, Brown, and John Mara are all completely at fault here. For Brown, it’s obvious, domestically abusing anyone, especially your wife, should not ever be something that crosses your mind as a man. For the NFL, their at fault for placing domestic violence so low on the totem pole of what they deem to be serious, especially on a totem pole where the possibility of a football being deflated is grounds for serious, non-stop investigation. For Mara, you’re at fault as an owner because you put your own selfish intentions and feelings over morality. Instead of doing the stand- up thing by releasing Brown for his terrible actions like the Ravens did with Rice, you decided to basically keep quiet about it and allow him to play until it became known to the public and there was a huge uproar against Brown. At that point, you had to respond in some type of way and even then, you still chose to support Brown by putting him in “rehab” and supporting that decision.
Domestic violence needs to be at the top of the board when it comes to issues, not just in sports, but in society most importantly.
How do you feel about this domestic violence situation and how the NFL dealt with it? Let’s talk about it here or find me on Twitter @Phenombc3.