League didn’t learn its les­son af­ter Ray Rice in­ci­dent

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - SPORTS - By Rob Maaddi

Af­ter mis­han­dling Ray Rice’s do­mes­tic vi­o­lence in­ci­dent two years ago, NFL Com­mis­sioner Roger Good­ell said “I got it wrong” and vowed “the same mis­takes can never be re­peated.”

It doesn’t ap­pear the league learned its les­son.

The NFL placed kicker Josh Brown on paid leave Fri­day, a day af­ter re-open­ing its in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the 2015 do­mes­tic abuse com­plaint against the 14-year vet­eran. Brown said in jour­nal en­tries and emails re­leased by po­lice on Thurs­day that he re­peat­edly ver­bally and phys­i­cally abused his for­mer wife, Molly Brown.

The rev­e­la­tions left fans out­raged be­cause Brown re­ceived only a one-game sus­pen­sion fol­low­ing the league’s 10-month in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the case.

So, the big ques­tion is this: How much did the Giants know and what did the NFL know about Brown’s his­tory of abus­ing his exwife?

“You very rarely have a Ray Rice video,” Giants coowner John Mara said in Au­gust.

Mara told WFAN ra­dio on Thurs­day he was upset about the lat­est in­for­ma­tion.

“I am cer­tainly dis­turbed by what we read,” Mara said. “He has ad­mit­ted to us that he abused his wife in the past. I think what is a lit­tle un­clear is the ex­tent of that, but what we have read about is ob­vi­ously dis­turb­ing.”

The league said its “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.”

They were de­nied be­cause it was an on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

How­ever, Sher­iff John Urquhart told KIRO Ra­dio in Seat­tle that the NFL failed to go through proper chan­nels and the in­ves­ti­ga­tor didn’t iden­tify him­self as work­ing for the league.

“At no time has the NFL ever filed a writ­ten pub­lic dis­clo­sure re­quest for any of these files. Pe­riod. It’s never hap­pened,” Urquhart told the sta­tion.

Good­ell ex­plained the league’s po­si­tion in a BBC in­ter­view on Fri­day.

“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.”

Molly Brown did not re­spond to mes­sages seek­ing com­ment from The As­so­ci­ated Press. A law firm rep­re­sent­ing the kicker de­clined to com­ment.

Here’s some of the in­for­ma­tion and al­le­ga­tions po­lice sum­ma­rized based on in­ter­views they con­ducted with Molly Brown:

• Molly Brown stated Josh Brown had been phys­i­cally vi­o­lent to her on more than 20 dif­fer­ent in­stances over the past sev­eral years.

• Molly said she never re­ceived med­i­cal at­ten­tion for any of the abuse.

• Molly said “Giants at­tor­neys” helped the trou­bled cou­ple deal with a land­lord who threat­ened to “black­mail” them and tell the me­dia about po­lice be­ing called to their apart­ment in Hoboken, New Jersey, two or three times in 2014-15. “They were fully aware about it and they you know, ba­si­cally did what they needed to do to make the guy go away,” she told de­tec­tives in May 2015. The Giants dis­puted the “black­mail in­ci­dent” in Au­gust. “We think the sit­u­a­tion ... may have been a dis­pute that Josh had with his then­land­lord in Hoboken over lease is­sues. Dur­ing that dis­pute, Josh felt threat­ened by the land­lord or her boyfriend. We ad­vised Josh on how to re­solve that is­sue and re­ferred him to a lawyer to han­dle the mat­ter,” the team said af­ter Mara spoke to re­porters on Aug. 23.

• Molly said Josh showed up drunk at her ho­tel room dur­ing the 2016 Pro Bowl week and was pound­ing on her door to get in the room. She called NFL and ho­tel se­cu­rity, Josh was es­corted away and the NFL put Molly and her chil­dren in a dif­fer­ent ho­tel room.

• Molly stated sev­eral friends of theirs, in­clud­ing other play­ers in the NFL, were aware of the do­mes­tic abuse in her re­la­tion­ship with Josh. She said Josh even sent a per­sonal email to sev­eral of their friends with an at­tached let­ter in March 2014 in which he ad­mit­ted to be­ing abu­sive to Molly.

• Molly felt the NFL had clearly given the mes­sage that no one within the league was go­ing to do any­thing to help her.

• Molly feared peo­ple from the NFL and the Giants would look to pres­sure her into mak­ing this go away, so that Josh and the team would not face any neg­a­tive press.

• Molly was up­front that in her ex­pe­ri­ence the NFL pub­licly says they have a no tol­er­ance pol­icy on do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, but the re­al­ity is that they do more crisis man­age­ment and look to cover things up.


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