Through its own fumbling incompetence, the NFL has another PR nightmare on its hands.
Late last week, Josh Brown’s journals,Â which detailed serial domestic abuse with his now ex-wife Molly Brown,Â were released by the King’s County Sheriff’s Office. The 165 pages represented a specter of new developments for the New York Giants and the NFL.
If you’ll recall, the league suspended Brown for the opening game of the 2016 season â while Tom Brady was suspended for the first quarter of the season for his, ahem, role in deflating (or not deflating) footballs.
After Brown’s journals hit the public, he was placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt ListÂ and missed the Week 7 contest in London against the Rams. What a cozy lifeÂ to live.Â Brown still receives his paycheck while being shielded by theÂ list and while the League of Integrity and the Giants figure out what to do with him.
The League and the Giants say they did their due diligence on Brown before handing down the one-game suspension. The commissioner even pointed the finger at the sheriff’s officeÂ for withholding the information in the journals.Â Keep in mind that a first-time offense for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy is six games.
Giants owner John Mara âÂ of the family considered to be NFL royalty âÂ showed a callous, insensitive tone-deaf attitudeÂ to the Brown situation, perhaps as a way to deflect blame: “(Josh) admitted to us he’d abused his wife in the past. What’s a little unclear is the extent of that.”
You didn’t think to ask for more details, John?
If I run a business and one of my potential employees has a history of admitted domestic abuse and violence, I’m going to do as much background-checking and detail-digging as possible.
This isn’t a kicker who failed to pay parking tickets. He abused his wifeÂ to the point where he was âGodâ and she was his “slave.â His words in the journal, not mine.
The fumbling of the punishment reeks of corporate cronyism. Mara and Goodell are close.
In the wake of Brown’s journals hitting the public, various players in the league have voiced their displeasureÂ in how this has been botched. Some owners have anonymously voiced their disapproval, as well.
It’s time for an owner or a high-ranking executive to come forward. The commissioner works for the owners, not the other way around. Show some semblance of a spine and stop hiding in anonymity.
I won’t hold my breath, though.
To expect an NFL owner to violate a âtrust”Â that lines his pockets is naive, some may say asinine. This is the same group of people that sided with Jerry Jones (employed Greg Hardy) and Stan Kroenke to remove the Rams from St. Louis and place them in Los Angeles.
It’s the same group of people who have bloated each other’s pockets and are able to look the other way in times of PR trouble. Plausible deniability has been the money-play for decades.
If I’m wrong, I’d like to see the proof from just one of these billionaires.
“I understand the public’s misunderstanding of those things and how that can be difficult for them to understand how we get to those positions,â Goodell said. âBut those are things that we have to do. I think it’s a lot deeper and a lot more complicated than it appears.”
Translation: âBlah-blahBlah-blahBlah-blahBlah-DEFLECTION-blahBlah-blahBlah-blah-PLAUSIBLE DENIABILITY-Blah-blahBlah-blahBlah-blah-SHERIFF’SOFFICE-Blah-blahBlah-blahBlah-FANSARESTUPIDblahBlah-blah-Blah-TOUCHDOWNGOODELL-Blah-blahBlah-blahBlah.â
You couldn’t script a more incompetent, insensitive, tone-deaf mentality put forth by the commissioner and the league of owners. The players don’t trust the league. The fans don’t trust the league. Some in the media don’tÂ trust the league.
Maybe that’s part of the reason why TV ratings are down.
Pat Imig is a featured host of âWe Are Live!â on 590 The Fan in St. Louis. He’s still in disbelief at how soulless some of these NFL executives act. Tweet him @patrickimig or Email him: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Updated at 12:20 p.m. ET