In light of the recent release of documents detailing an extensive pattern of abuse by New York Giants place kicker Josh Brown toward his ex-wife, the team announced Thursday that Brown would not be with the Giants when they travel to London for Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Rams. The NFL also plans to reopen its investigation of Brown in light of the 165 pages of documents released Wednesday by the King County (Wash.) Sheriff’s Department.
From the Giants’ statement Thursday:
Giants owner John Mara, who publicly supported Brown prior to the start of the season and defended the team’s decision to sign him to a contract extension, said in an interview on New York’s WFAN that “it’s too early to tell” whether Brown will remain on the team and that deactivating him for this week’s game was the “best course.”
“You’re never comfortable about these things and we were obviously disturbed by it, but based on what we knew, we were comfortable with the decision to continue to employ him,” Mara said. “In light of the new facts that have come out we made a decision at least for this week to make him inactive. I can’t answer that right now what the future holds for him, but we need to gather more information and try to make as intelligent of a decision as we can.”
Mara said that Brown “admitted to us he’d abused his wife in the past. What’s a little unclear is the extent of that.” He also noted that he and the team were aware of an incident that took place at last season’s Pro Bowl in Hawaii, in which Brown showed up drunk at a hotel room where his wife, Molly and her three children were staying and pounded on the door, while imploring her to let him in before she contacted both the league and hotel security. The NFL then moved her and the children to a different room. Later that year, the Giants signed Brown to a two-year, $4 million contract in April.
Meanwhile, the NFL released a statement of its own on the matter, noting that “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,” and that “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.” The league further stated that it “is unfortunate that we did not have the benefit or knowledge of these materials at the time,” and vowed to “thoroughly review the additional information and determine next steps in the context of the NFL Personal Conduct Policy.”
The league initially suspended Brown one game for violating its personal conduct policy based on his 2015 arrest on a fourth-degree domestic violence assault charge. USA Today’s Tom Pelissero tweeted Thursday that the league is considering placing Brown on its exempt list, perhaps as early as next week. Adrian Peterson and Greg Hardy, then of the Carolina Panthers, were placed on the exempt list following incidents of domestic violence in 2014.
Giants Coach Ben McAdoo also appeared on WFAN on Thursday and said that the Giants are not yet sure who will replace Brown as the team’s kicker Sunday, but that they are “kicking the tires on a couple of guys.” It was later reported that former Bears kicker Robbie Gould, a free agent, was on a flight to London to join the Giants.
McAdoo also said of the latest information regarding Brown, “We decided not to take Josh with us, make sure we get all the facts and do everything right by Josh, the organization and the locker room.”