Investigation into Josh Brown's domestic abuse arrest in 2015 is being re-opened. Brown will not be playing this Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams. The NFL is perpetually under fire for its handling of this ongoing case, originally suspending the player after being convicted of fourth-degree assault for no more than a single game after he was accused of abusing his wife.
New police documents from the King County Sheriff Department in Washington State have surfaced from Brown's 2015 alleged domestic abuse case against his then-spouse, Molly Brown. This new evidence seems damning as the records show Brown describing the abuse in his own words.
One disturbing document was dated from 2013, a full two years before the investigation. In fact, 911 call records show that Molly Brown had been calling the police on her husband long before he was ever brought in. The document holds notes from marriage counseling in which Brown writes his own confession.
"I have physically, verbally and emotionally abused my wife Molly."
"I have controlled her by making her feel less human than me, and manipulated her with money."
Perhaps even more unsettling is a passage in which Brown claims that he made a conscious decision to "use and abuse women" by the time he was seven years old.
Another entry states, "I viewed myself as God basically and she was my slave.”
President and co-owner of the team, John Mara, stated Thursday that Brown may be added to the NFL's "exempt list" throughout these legal proceedings. The exempt list or "Commissioner's Permission" list offers a sleazy, self-serving way for teams to essentially temporarily suspend players on full pay without having to cut them or trade them outright, to prevent monetary losses and attempt to appease public outrage.
The NFL has claimed that Molly Brown and the sheriff department's lack of cooperation led to their past failings to significantly penalize Josh Brown. But, significantly, Mara admitted that they have long known about the abuse, saying "He certainly admitted to us that he abused his wife in the past. What’s a little unclear is the extent of that.”
The implication that abuse is acceptable to a certain "extent" is illustrative of the NFL's stance on abuse in general. The signs of abuse toward Brown's family have continued since 2015 and the NFL and the Giants have looked away at every turn, with the team re-signing Brown to a four million dollar, two-year contract in spring of this year. They did this despite the fact that in January 2016, the NFL had to help relocate Molly Brown and her children after being threatened by him again.
Molly Brown has stated that some members of the NFL have been aware of her struggles all along and she did not trust the League to do anything but "protect" her ex-husband.
It's time for NFL to update its policies on alleged abusers. The League has fined players for showing solidarity with domestic abuse survivors and continues to use the Exempt List toprotect their own. Players who commit abuse should not be permitted to play and as long as they are, the NFL will represent aiding and abetting abusers.
If you think you or someone you know is being abused, you can call The Hotline at 1-800-787-3224.
Banner image credit: YouTube Screenshot