Gi­ants’ Brown on ex­empt list pend­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - SPORTS - By Shawn Po­gatch­nik AP Sports Writer Tom Cana­van in East Rutherford, New Jer­sey, and As­so­ci­ated Press re­porter Phuong Le in Seat­tle con­trib­uted to this story.

The NFL placed Josh Brown on paid leave Fri­day hours af­ter coach Ben McA­doo strug­gled to an­swer ques­tions about how the New York Gi­ants might dis­ci­pline the kicker for abus­ing his wife.

The NFL placed Josh Brown on paid leave Fri­day hours af­ter coach Ben McA­doo strug­gled to an­swer ques­tions about how the New York Gi­ants might dis­ci­pline the kicker for abus­ing his wife.

In a let­ter to the 14-year vet­eran, NFL se­nior vice pres­i­dent of la­bor pol­icy Adolpho Birch said Brown was be­ing placed on the league’s “ex­empt list” while the league in­ves­ti­gates whether he should be sus­pended as pun­ish­ment for sev­eral al­leged acts of spousal abuse. Birch said the move “does not rep­re­sent a find­ing that you have vi­o­lated the per­sonal con­duct pol­icy,” but does pave the way to­ward po­ten­tial fur­ther sanc­tions. Be­ing placed on Com­mis­sioner Roger Good­ell’s “ex­empt” list means Brown can­not at­tend prac­tices or Gi­ants games but can go to Gi­ants head­quar­ters for meet­ings and work­outs. It also means Brown con­tin­ues to be paid and his pres­ence won’t be counted on the Gi­ants’ 53man ros­ter. The ac­tion on Brown came hours af­ter McA­doo had trou­ble ex­plain­ing the Gi­ants’ in­ten­tions to­ward Brown, their kicker since 2013. The ques­tions about how much the Gi­ants knew about Brown’s off-field trou­bles have over­shad­owed prepa­ra­tions for Sun­day’s game in Lon­don against the Los An­ge­les Rams.

Brown did not travel to Lon­don fol­low­ing Wed­nes­day’s re­lease of po­lice records which con­tained the player’s writ­ten ad­mis­sions that he phys­i­cally abused his wife, Molly, over a pro­tracted pe­riod. She told po­lice in the doc­u­ments re­leased by the King County Sher­iff’s Of­fice in Wash­ing­ton state that the abuse and other threat­en­ing be­hav­ior stretched from 2009, when she was preg­nant with their daugh­ter, to the Pro Bowl in Jan­uary 2016. At the Pro Bowl in Hon­olulu, Brown’s wife said she called NFL se­cu­rity to move her and her three chil­dren to an­other ho­tel to avoid ha­rass­ment from her es­tranged hus­band. She said he had pounded on their ho­tel door seek­ing to get in. The al­le­ga­tion is in­cluded in the fi­nal re­port filed last month by the lo­cal in­ves­ti­gat­ing de­tec­tive, Robin Ostrum. Brown’s for­mer wife did not re­spond to mes­sages seek­ing com­ment from The As­so­ci­ated Press. A law firm rep­re­sent­ing the kicker also de­clined to com­ment.

When asked whether the Gi­ants knew about Brown’s be­hav­ior at the Pro Bowl, McA­doo re­peat­edly said the Gi­ants were still gath­er­ing in­for­ma­tion on the 9-month-old event. Fi­nally, he said: “I’m not go­ing to an­swer that.”

When a re­porter asked McA­doo about his com­ments in Au­gust sug­gest­ing he would show no tol­er­ance for play­ers abu­sive of their fam­ily mem­bers, McA­doo said his com­ments then were more nu­anced.

“When did I say zero tol­er­ance?” he said, adding: “I do not sup­port do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, if that’s what you’re ask­ing. I do not con­done it.”

McA­doo de­scribed Brown as a “man of faith” who was try­ing to im­prove his be­hav­ior and the Gi­ants or­ga­ni­za­tion was sup­port­ing him in this. But when asked to ex­plain how the Gi­ants pro­vided this or mon­i­tored his off-field be­hav­ior, McA­doo said he couldn’t de­tail any spe­cific acts of sup­port.

The NFL’s of­fi­cial pol­icy is to sus­pend play­ers guilty of do­mes­tic abuse for six games on their first of­fense. Brown was sus­pended for one game, the Gi­ants’ sea­son-open­ing vic­tory over the Dal­las Cow­boys, in pun­ish­ment for his May 2015 ar­rest at his fam­ily home in Wood­inville, Wash­ing­ton, on sus­pi­cion of as­sault­ing his wife by grab­bing one of her wrists as she tried to reach for a phone, leav­ing an abra­sion and bruis­ing. No charges were filed but the de­tec­tive, Ostrum, gath­ered de­tailed state­ments from Molly Brown who also pro­vided her hus­band’s writ­ten ad­mis­sions of abuse in di­ary and email en­tries.

The NFL said its in­ves­ti­ga­tors asked to see these records but were de­nied.

Ear­lier Fri­day, Good­ell sug­gested in a BBC in­ter­view that Brown could face fur­ther pun­ish­ment now that league of­fi­cials can see the full King County ev­i­dence file de­tail­ing Molly Brown’s al­le­ga­tions of more than 20 episodes of abuse and other threat­en­ing be­hav­ior to her­self, her two sons from a pre­vi­ous re­la­tion­ship and the cou­ple’s daugh­ter. “We have asked re­peat­edly for those facts and the in­for­ma­tion that’s been gath­ered by law en­force­ment both orally and in writ­ing. And we weren’t able to get ac­cess to it. So you have to make de­ci­sions on what­ever in­for­ma­tion you have,” Good­ell said in a tran­script of the Lon­don in­ter­view pro­vided by the BBC. “We take this is­sue in­cred­i­bly se­ri­ously . ... When it hap­pens we’re not go­ing to tol­er­ate it. So we have some new in­for­ma­tion here, we’ll eval­u­ate that in the con­text of our pol­icy and we’ll take it from there,” Good­ell said.

The Gi­ants in April re­signed Brown to a two-year con­tract val­ued at $4 mil­lion. When fac­ing his onegame sus­pen­sion, Brown in Au­gust said he was di­vorced from his wife, although po­lice doc­u­ments re­leased Wed­nes­day sug­gested that civil pro­ceed­ings re­main in­com­plete. The Gi­ants have signed kicker Rob­bie Gould, an 11-year vet­eran of the Chicago Bears who was cut in Septem­ber for salary cap rea­sons. The 34-year-old is ex­pected to prac­tice with the team Satur­day.

“I’ve seen him (Gould) make a lot of kicks against me in the past. He’s been suc­cess­ful, and we’re hop­ing that con­tin­ues,” McA­doo said.

CHAR­LIE RIEDEL — AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Gi­ants kicker Josh Brown re­acts af­ter miss­ing a field goal dur­ing a Septem­ber 2013 game against the Chiefs in Kan­sas City.

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