There's no excuse for Jerry Reese's refusal to talk Josh Brown

Jerry Reese apparently holds himself as accountable for Josh Brown’s re-signing as the organization holds Reese for the franchise’s annual playoff misses.

First, John Mara and Steve Tisch retained Reese this past winter while essentially showing coach Tom Coughlin the door, despite no playoff appearances since 2011 for the two-time Super Bowl champion GM-coach combo.

Then on Monday, Reese, who hadn’t addressed the media since July 31, refused to discuss his re-signing of the kicker Brown to a two-year, $4 million contract in April, even though Mara’s integrity has taken a deserved beating for months due to the president’s role in all of this.

Reese bristled despite never having addressed the matter of Brown’s domestic violence history and the Giants’ re-signing of him publicly during the two months that rookie head coach Ben McAdoo had to answer to relentless pressing about the organization’s gross mishandling of the Brown situation.

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Mara already has admitted that the Giants were aware of Brown’s May 2015 arrest and 20-plus additional alleged incidents of abuse, the latter first reported by the Daily News, when the team re-signed him. Reese is the general manager. He signed Brown.

Reese had been given the opportunity to comment on Brown by several reporters, including the Daily News, on Aug. 20 during the Giants’ preseason game in Buffalo. He had no time for it then and has none for it now.

“I’m not taking any questions with respect to Josh Brown, guys. Stop asking me,” Reese said Monday, repeating his answer to all Brown-related inquiries. “I’m not going to take any questions about that, OK?”

Asked why he wouldn’t speak on the matter, Reese added: “Because I don’t think it makes sense for people to keep talking about that situation right now.”

Giants’ Jerry Reese, Ben McAdoo refuse to comment on Josh Brown

If Reese wants to reference what doesn’t make any sense, he could start with the fact that this Giants roster has exactly zero players on it from the 15 total he selected in the 2011 and 2012 draft classes. Or that this team has gone 9-7, 7-9, 6-10 and 6-10 the previous four seasons and he is still pulling the strings.

To be sure, Reese has more riding on these Giants (4-3) returning to the postseason this January than anyone.

A SEPT. 29, 2013 FILE PHOTO

Josh Brown.

(Charlie Riedel/AP)

Those football responsibilities and that pressure, though, in no way excuse Reese from not spending five minutes either clarifying or apologizing for — his choice — his re-signing of Brown and his continued employment of Brown when his domestic violence history first became public in August.

McAdoo, whose knowledge of Brown’s domestic violence while being hired and assimilating last offseason is still murky, had awkwardly toed the line on Brown for months. Then McAdoo did a sudden about-face in London as the team was deliberating its ultimate decision to cut Brown, saying: “The front office asked me to focus on the game and (said) that they were going to handle everything, and we’d touch base after the game.”

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So was Reese not in those meetings? Was that another general manager?

Perhaps Reese felt that Mara’s statement released by the team last Tuesday, leading into almost a full week of no media access, spoke for the entire organization, Reese included.

“We believed we did the right thing at every juncture in our relationship with Josh,” Mara’s statement began. “Our beliefs, our judgments and our decisions were misguided. We accept that responsibility.”

But then why weren’t Reese and McAdoo able on Monday to reflect upon some of the regrettable elements of the situation and reiterate stances against domestic violence the way franchise QB Eli Manning did at his locker?

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It’s not just Reese’s refusal to speak. It is the manner in which he dictates, “I’m not answering or taking any questions about Josh Brown.” It is his dismissive tone, his decision from up on high that this is not worthy of conversation. He should know: No one is comfortable talking about this topic.

It is not easy to write about. It is painful and complicated. It is unfortunate that a man lost his job last week, but it is more unfortunate that a woman ever was put in harm’s way.

No one knows if there is a story that Mara, Reese and McAdoo aren’t telling, what more the Giants could say to rationalize their behavior and poor decisions along the way. Unquestionably, however, Reese played a major part in bringing Brown back, and just because he won’t talk about it doesn’t make it untrue.

Tags:
nfl
new york giants
jerry reese
josh brown
domestic violence

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