Is it any surprise that that the NFL has done it again by soft pedaling the abusive behaviors of their star players? Media outlets are now reporting that Josh Brown, NY Giants kicker, was suspended for only 1 game at the beginning of the 2016 season for violating the league personal conduct policy after a 10-month long investigation into a number of incidents of domestic abuse against his wife, Molly.
The Giants re-signed Brown in 2016 knowing of his arrest and the charges against him. Apparently his wife refused to cooperate with the league investigation and dropped the charges against him. That seems to have been enough for the league to conclude that his behavior wasn’t egregious enough to warrant further discipline. We also now know that Brown confessed in private therapy sessions to heinous acts of abuse against his wife, which the league was surely aware of as well.
How much abuse does the spouse of a football player have to take before the NFL starts firing its players? The message the NFL is sending is clear. If your spouse won’t testify against you, you can keep your job. The NFL doesn’t seem to understand the cycle of domestic violence. Most victims don’t report abuse or move forward with formal charges of abuse because they tend to view the incident as a private matter, they fear retaliation from their abuser, and they don’t believe that police will do anything about it. The NFL’s refusal to permanently fire Brown only serves to cement these fears.