Giants release Josh Brown following domestic violence saga

More than three months after Josh Brown’s domestic violence history became public, the Giants have cut ties with their embattled kicker.

Big Blue released Brown on Tuesday, shortly after he issued a statement in which he claimed he’s never “struck” his wife Molly.

Mara responded in a statement from the Giants. The team made the announcement Tuesday after players had already spoken with the media and left the facility for the upcoming bye week. 

“We believed we did the right thing at every juncture in our relationship with Josh,” said Mara, who admitted last week that Brown told the Giants he’d abused his wife before the team signed him to a two-year contract this offseason. “Our beliefs, our judgments and our decisions were misguided. We accept that responsibility.

The words of women still mean nothing to the NFL

“We hope that Josh will continue to dedicate himself to rehabilitation, and to becoming a better person and father. We will continue to support him in his efforts to continue counseling, and we hope that Josh and his family can find peace and a positive resolution.

“We have great respect and feel strongly about our support for the good people who work tirelessly and unconditionally to aid the victims of domestic violence and who bring awareness to the issue. We have been partners with My Sisters’ Place (a domestic violence shelter and advocate based in Westchester, New York) for nearly 20 years. The leadership of that organization has provided invaluable insight as we have considered our decisions in this matter. We value and respect their opinion, and we look forward to continuing to work with them in the future.”

Brown also released a statement through the Giants, which includes much of the same wording as the initial statement, though no mention of his wife Molly, who endured years of abuse. In response to the discrepancies, the Giants said they received Brown’s statement on Monday night and printed it as it was written. 

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Molly Brown claims that Josh Brown abused her as many as 20 times over the course of their relationship.

(Scott Roth/AP)

“The road to rehabilitation is a journey and a constant modification of a way of life,” Brown said. “My journey will continue forever as a person determined to leave a positive legacy and I embrace the opportunities to show and speak about what has helped me to be that man. I am sorry that my past has called into question the character or integrity of The New York Giants, Mr. Mara or any of those who have supported me along the way. In the coming days and weeks I plan on telling more of the pain I had caused and the measures taken to get help so I may be the voice of change and not a statistic. In the interim I am cooperating with the Giants and the NFL. Thank you to everyone that has supported me, I will not let you down.”  

NFL voices fire away at Goodell, Mara but what about Josh Brown?

Brown landed on the commissioner’s exempt list Friday in the wake of the league re-opening its investigation. Two days prior, police released documents that included journal entries, allegedly kept by Brown, with admissions of abusing Molly Brown.

Brown was subsequently left behind for the Giants’ trip to London and their 17-10 win over the Rams. The exempt list indefinitely bars any player from participating in practices or games and the player does not count against a team’s 53-man roster. Brown was paid while on the list.

Brown’s release ends a months-long saga that has damaged the Giants’ reputation as one of the model franchises in sports. In particular, Mara has come under considerable scrutiny for re-signing a player whom he knew had been arrested for domestic violence.

Brown was arrested for domestic violence in May of 2015. Charges were later dropped. Brown was suspended one game on Aug. 17 due to a violation of the NFL’s personal conduct policy. Later that night, NJ.com obtained a police report detailing the incident, in which Josh Brown allegedly grabbed Molly Brown’s wrist as she was reaching for a phone, leaving “redness.”

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The next day, Brown spoke with reporters and called the incident “just a moment.” Coach Ben McAdoo — who said in January that domestic violence was the one thing he “won’t tolerate as a head coach” — deflected questions about the team’s decision to re-sign Brown. “That’s a better question for Jerry (Reese),” he said.

Giants owner John Mara and coach Ben McAdoo come under considerable scrutiny for their support of Josh Brown.

Giants owner John Mara and coach Ben McAdoo come under considerable scrutiny for their support of Josh Brown.

(New York Daily News)

Later that night, the Daily News uncovered an incident report in which Molly Brown told police of Josh being physically violent more than 20 times, including a 2009 incident when she was pregnant with their daughter. She also indicated to police that she previously held a protection order against Josh. In one alleged incident, Molly claims Josh got into an argument with her son and kicked in the bathroom door “so hard that it broke off the hinges…and cracked a large portion of the door jam.”

On Aug. 19, the NFL released a statement detailing its 10-month investigation of Brown. In that statement, the league claims its investigators “had insufficient information to corroborate prior allegations,” and therefore only suspended Brown for one game. Molly Brown had refused to speak with the league regarding its investigation. Brown’s suspension was five games shorter than the requisite six-game ban the NFL had instituted for first-time domestic violence offenders after the Ray Rice debacle in 2014.

Over the next several days, the Giants stayed quiet. McAdoo declined to the address Brown’s domestic violence history during his press conference, while both Mara and Reese did not speak with the media.

Finally, on Aug. 24, Mara held an impromptu news conference at the Giants facility during a training camp practice. In that session, Mara admitted the organization was aware of Josh Brown’s 2015 domestic violence arrest — as well as the kicker’s alleged history of violent incidents revealed in the incident report — when the brain trust decided to re-sign him to a two-year, $4 million contract in the offseason.

“Based on the facts and circumstances that we were aware of at that time, we were comfortable with our decision to re-sign him,” Mara said then. “Nothing has happened in the meantime to make us question that decision.

“I have four daughters and seven sisters, and I know I’ve got to face each one of them. These are not easy decisions. It’s very easy to say, ‘The guy’s been accused, get rid of him, terminate him.’ But when you’re sitting at the top of an organization and you’re responsible for a lot of people, you’d better make more informed decisions than that.”

Documents released by police offer a glimpse at Josh Brown’s alleged abuse.

Documents released by police offer a glimpse at Josh Brown’s alleged abuse.

(New York Daily News)

The following weekend, the Daily News obtained more police reports that revealed how Brown was arrested in July of 2015 — two months after his initial domestic violence arrest — for violating the protective order Molly Brown placed against him.

When asked for comment about whether the team was aware of Brown’s second arrest, a Giants spokesman referenced Mara’s comments from the press conference earlier in the week: “All I can tell you is that we are aware of all the allegations and, I believe, all of the facts and circumstances, and we were comfortable with our decision to re-sign him,” the owner said.

After serving a one-game suspension, Brown refused to speak with reporters during the week — a violation of the NFL’s media policy — and kicked the game-winning field goal as time expired in Big Blue’s 16-13 home win over the Saints.

“I have nothing to say about it. Literally nothing,” Brown said after the game when asked about his domestic violence history. “My family and I have moved on. My concern is my children and that’s it. Everything that I said prior to the day my suspension came out is all I am going to say.”

Then came the bombshell when Washington police released documents they’d received from Molly Brown after Josh’s arrest in May of 2015. Included in those documents was a journal Molly claimed belonged to Josh.

“I HAVE Abused my life,” one line of the journal read.

The immediate reaction following news of his alleged abuse is for the Giants to cut ties with Josh Brown.

The immediate reaction following news of his alleged abuse is for the Giants to cut ties with Josh Brown.

(New York Daily News)

“When I control her, she should be invisible and satisfied. She should die,” read another excerpt from the journal.

Another document was a “contract for change” signed by Josh, which was part of a counseling program. In the contract, Josh admits, “I have physically, verbally and emotionally abused my wife Molly.”

In the documents, Josh also reveals he was molested as a seven-year-old child and had an “addiction to porn and to sex.”

On Thursday, the Giants announced Brown would not be traveling to London. The team signed Robbie Gould to replace him.

“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 team said in a statement. “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.”

The same day, the NFL announced the re-opening of their investigation. On Friday, they placed him on the commissioner’s exempt list.

Now Brown’s time in the NFL has likely come to a close.

Tags:
nfl
new york giants
josh brown
domestic violence
john mara

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