John Mara’s arguments confirm the NFL has returned to the pre-Ray Rice mindset

AP

After the Ray Rice video rocked the NFL to its foundation and nearly toppled a Commissioner, the NFL reacted to immense public pressure by making big changes. And now that the PSI has reduced (yeah, I went there), the NFL has retreated to it pre-Ray Rice reality.

That’s exactly what happened in the Josh Brown case. Arrested in May 2015 for a domestic violence incident that the NFL saw fit to discipline with a one-game suspension, the NFL still has provided no explanation as to why the league deviated from the six-game baseline that was adopted in an effort to put out the post-Ray Rice firestorm.

Mitigating factors are required to reduce the six-game suspension. So what were they?

The NFL has made no effort to identify the mitigating factors or to even say that there were any. The only real explanation provided in support of the action taken came from the inability of the NFL’s investigators to fully investigate the case, blaming their failure to get to the truth (under the low standard of “more probable than not”) by pointing out that Brown’s former wife refused to cooperate and that law enforcement officials likewise wouldn’t talk, outcomes that scream out “red flag” more than they say “dead end.”

Good investigators figure out ways to get people to tell the truth. Good investigators don’t shrug and say “oh well” and create a blueprint for all other players who are accused of domestic violence: If you can convince the witnesses not to talk, the league will have no choice but to go easy on you.

The bigger problem in this case is that the Giants also went easy on Brown. Although it wouldn’t be right for the team to look the other way if a key player on offense or defense were involved in a similar situation, at least it would make sense. Why are the Giants opening themselves up to criticism and scrutiny for a kicker? As one G.M. told me earlier this year, there are three great kickers, three bad kickers, and the other 26 are all the same. Brown is one of the other 26, and the Giants easily could have found another one of those 26.

“These are not easy decisions,” Giants co-owner John Mara said Wednesday, finally breaking the organization’s silence on the subject. “Very easy to say, ‘Guy’s been accused, get rid of him. Terminate him.’ But when you’re sitting at the top of an organization and you’re responsible for a lot of people, you’d better make more informed decisions than that.”

That’s fine, but in this case the Giants didn’t have to fire Brown. His contract had expired, they knew about the allegations, and instead of finding another kicker they hired Brown again.

Some may say that the Giants were being merciful or giving the player a second chance or whatever, but it’s impossible to reconcile the Giants’ actions with these words from Mara, uttered at a time when the league was under heavy siege: “Everyone in our league, players, coaches, front-office people, need to understand there is no excuse for domestic violence ever and there is going to be severe consequences.”

The fact that the NFL imposed a one-game suspension on Brown shows that some degree of domestic violence occurred. His ex-wife claimed, before clamming up, that there had been up to 20 prior incidents of violence.

“There is no excuse for domestic violence,” Mara said in 2014. In 2016, Mara sounds like a guy making multiple excuses for Brown.

“There’s a big difference between allegations and convictions or indictments,” Mara said Wednesday. “And a lot of times there’s a tendency to try to make these cases black and white. They’re very rarely black and white. You very rarely have a Ray Rice video.”

Those are all excuses for Brown’s domestic violence, for which the consequences were minimal — and which the Giants decided to ignore when re-hiring a player with whom the organization technically had no employment relationship.

The inescapable message is this: With the Ray Rice incident nearly two years old, the NFL and its teams have assumed the pre-Ray Rice posture. Unless, of course, there’s any chance a video exists that TMZ may eventually buy.

47 responses to “John Mara’s arguments confirm the NFL has returned to the pre-Ray Rice mindset

  1. If that lying scumbag Goodell ever again utters the word integrity, he should be summarily dismissed.

  2. John Mara and each and every owner owe it to us as NFL fans to stand up publicly and say whether they feel Roger Goodell has “unquestioned integrity.”

    If a majority do not feel that Goodell’s behavior over the last few years constitutes “unquestioned integrity,” by their own rules, in Article VIII, Goodell can no longer serve as Commissioner

    We all know Goodell does NOT have unquestioned integrity – the owners do too but since they have no integrity he remains in his job

    But owners like Mara should at least stand up and look the NFL fans they’ve milked for billions in the eye and lie to them like a man

  3. What a completely hysterical and immature headline. I’m not on any side other than the side of fair dialog.

  4. I know the mitigating factor that resulted in the deviation… Goodell is Mara’s puppet. That’s it. Either of the NY teams can do whatever they want to do and Goodell just accepts it. Remember a few years back in the capped uncapped year when the Cowboys and Redskins got eff’d… who was behind that? Mara. There is your mitigating circumstance.

  5. It is good because it is yet another opp for people to show how much of a warrior and hero they are.

  6. How can you compare Brown to a player who punched his wife in the face with a clised fist and then dragged her by her hair out of an elevtor? And It wasnt 20 incidents of domestic violence. The number 20 comes from the amount of times police were called to their residence. What you fail to mention is thst out of those 20 incidents in which police were called, several of them were Brown calling the police on his wife due to her anger and aggression.

    I love the Giants but I am against any team employing personnel who beat their spouse. However, none of us know all of the details. Its very clear that his wife had anger issues and a bad temper too. I believe if a woman is physically assaulting a man he has the right to defend himself. Equality for women goes both ways.

  7. I don’t see anybody comparing Brown to Rice. The point was that since the Rice incident, there was a new 6 game suspension policy put into effect which was ignored with regards to Brown’s 1 game pre-Rice like suspension. No comparison to Rice is even hinted at.

  8. Guy who wanted to kill the Patriots over Deflategatebut does not have the “Integrity” to deal with issues in his own back yard.

    Typical double standards I have come to expect from wealthy entitled people in life. “Everything is fine as long as it does not affect me”

  9. I guess it’s okay to be a fan of a team with a serial rapist as a qb because no charges were filed. Rape is obviously not as big of a deal as a couple who were always fighting.

    You just believe whatever you want to believe, don’t you?

  10. Mara and Goodell are in bed together. Mara pretty much runs the entire league. And he’s only a co-owner. Gotta keep daddy’s investment growing.

    Mara is really a weasel beyond words. Loser

  11. Leaving marks on a wrist (which is the totality of the substantive allegations against Brown) and knocking someone out are just a little bit different.

    As far as the mitigating factors, if any, I am not sure the team or the NFL has to make those public, and I think it’s a little short sighted to assume they in anyone’s best interests of knowing. What if the victim attacked him first or did something that contributed? If they publicized that it would either harm the victim or be blamed for shaming. It sounds crazy to think about but I know many mild-mannered men, usually well-educated and respected, who have been attacked by their intelligent attractive and well-liked wives and girlfriends, been bitten, stabbed, had wine glasses or bottles thrown at them, frying pans, etc. Unprovoked. If they had responded in kind I’m sure they would have received something different than “Yo go girl” cheering them on.

  12. This is getting really old. There is no proof and the potential witnesses aren’t cooperating. This is why he got a one game suspension. If he was suspended for six games you’d probably be saying (like you have about bountygate and deflategate) that Goodell was overreaching. I’m a Lions fan who couldn’t care less about the length of his suspension but please at least try to make a coherent argument. Mara hasn’t made any excuses for anyone and this has nothing to do with Ray Rice.

  13. Just another day at 345 Park Avenue…As long as the $$$ rolls in Roger the Puppet will dance to the tune of the NFL owners.
    ___________________________________
    I’ll change that to MOST of the NFL owners…I’m sure a few like Snyder, Benson, Hunt, Kraft, and maybe a couple of others might think differently!

  14. Roger’s NFL is about protecting “The Shield” and nothing else. People are a distant second.

  15. Spot on, Florio.

    The worse part for me is that for years I would say that the Maras were different. That might have been true once. Not today. Not anymore.

  16. Did you ever think that maybe the ex wife is the one at fault? Maybe she has mental issues (certainly sounds like it).

    Oh right she’s female and he’s a football player so it has to be his fault

  17. Let all buy tickets to the football games…we will go there and spend two hundred dollars on concessions. We will chant someone name….goodwell most likely….that way we can show the owners we are unhappy. On our way out we can stop by the gift shop and buy a couple nfl license jersey to!

  18. What a joke. If this was some 3rd string LB he would be cut instantly from the Giants. As he’s their long time kicker they’ve given him a pass

    Poor showing by the Giants

  19. youknowiknowitall says:
    Aug 25, 2016 11:50 PM

    I don’t see anybody comparing Brown to Rice. The point was that since the Rice incident, there was a new 6 game suspension policy put into effect which was ignored with regards to Brown’s 1 game pre-Rice like suspension. No comparison to Rice is even hinted at.
    ——-

    Actually, Mara is quoted in the article:

    “There’s a big difference between allegations and convictions or indictments,” Mara said Wednesday. “And a lot of times there’s a tendency to try to make these cases black and white. They’re very rarely black and white. You very rarely have a Ray Rice video.”

    So the comparison was actually made, and it’s a crock. Mara is one of the most powerful owners, and it’s pretty clear he can do whatever he wants. Because, you know, “integrity.”

  20. Josh Brown was never accused of hitting or punching his wife. There was one report in the 20 phone calls to the police where he allegedly grabbed her wrist. But zero reports that he hit or punched her in any way.

    Not saying he’s an angel but this was obviously a volitile marriage and you don’t know what role his wife played. 20 calls? She should’ve left after the first call if there was physical abuse.

  21. Not hard to figure out…..it is a New York team that’s involved, the rules that apply to everyone else don’t apply to them.

  22. The one game suspension does NOT show ‘that some degree of domestic violence occurred.”

    As the Roethlisberger case showed you can be suspended for just being an @#$ in a case with bad optics but with no proof of illegal behavior.

  23. I’m pretty sick of watching NFL:SVU. When it comes to actual crimes, let the legal system deal with it. If the DA can’t get a conviction, then I don’t care. If a team wants to take a moral stand and suspend a player, fine, but expecting Goodell to hand down reasonable and consistent punishments is a rather foolish expectation at this point, don’t ya think?

  24. Waiting for the press release where Rooney Mara and Kate Mara claim not to be related to this bunch…

  25. Yeah, you can’t say domestic violence is completely unacceptable….and then fail to really stand behind that statement because the consequences were going to affect your team. Weak John Mara, very weak.

  26. Amazing how all the social warriors out there can easily determine guilt without knowing the whole story. I’m guessing that most of them have no clue about the damage a vindictive ex can do on allegations alone.

  27. For those who don’t think a woman could be the aggressor (mitigating factor) I have 2 words: Miko Grimes

  28. The record is clear that Goodell goes easy on the Jets and Giants. Tampering with Darrell Revis by publicly announcing you want him back? That would costs most teams a draft pick, but Woody Johnson got off with a fine that’s equivalent to pocket change for him. Josh Brown getting arrested? Well, there’s no video and no pictures, so Goodell can keep John Mara happy. That’s business as usual at 345 Park Ave.

  29. The logic here is faulty. You point out that Brown is expendable. Just a kicker, like any other kicker. Then what motivation would Mara have for letting this slide and resigning him? It is in no way in Mara’s best interest to take on the bad PR for just another kicker.

    The logical analysis would be that Mara and company are privy to information you are not (oh, the humanity – the press isn’t told everything about people’s private lives). And based upon this information, they found it was not appropriate to consider Brown’s relationship with his ex-wife in deciding whether or not to hire him. And they are stand up guys in being willing to take the PR hit in the process.

    Finally, Brown is divorced. Maybe, just maybe, that divorce settlement restricts Brown’s ability to talk about his ex.

    You are grandstanding on speculation and stomping your feet like a petulant child that the Giants and the NFL won’t give you the reasons you are entitled to as the media for their actions, when really they don’t owe you anything.

  30. THE BIG difference between Rice and Brown is that Brown plays for a New York team.

    Jets Tamper=$100K fine
    Chiefs Tamper=$350K fine, loss of multiple Draft picks

    They announced the penalties on the same day, because they don’t care if the obvious bias is obvious.

    John Mara lead the hunt against the Cowboys and Redskins for going over the cap in a season without a cap! That was BULL, they don’t care how obvious the collusion was.

    And they don’t give two craps about science either.

  31. Yet a QB gets railroaded and suspended for 4 games with no evidence of any wrongdoing other than supposed “lack of cooperation.”

    What a joke.

  32. mack2x says:
    Aug 26, 2016 9:08 AM
    Amazing how all the social warriors out there can easily determine guilt without knowing the whole story. I’m guessing that most of them have no clue about the damage a vindictive ex can do on allegations alone.
    —————————————————————
    Almost as amazing as the wonderlic geniuses who don’t accept scientific fact that psi goes down in colder air.

  33. bucandball says:
    Aug 26, 2016 11:22 AM

    For those who don’t think a woman could be the aggressor (mitigating factor) I have 2 words: Miko Grimes
    _____
    And I’ll give you two more words – Deidra Lane. Most people probably don’t remember, because Fred Lane was just a backup RB. But he got shot by his wife in 2000 right after the Panthers traded him to the Colts. That last year, he would show up to practice every now and then with cuts and bruises, and would privately say to teammates that “my wife did it.” She killed him to collect a life insurance policy. So yes, the wife most certainly can be the aggressor.

  34. Good because IMO the Ray Rice banishment is just unfair. Ray Rice was never convicted, his wife has forgiven him(and she admitted her role also) and he’s apologized.
    Hope Solo was no where near as punished as Ray Rice was and she is accused of beating a minor.
    Mike Vick murdered dogs, actually convicted and is a felon and allowed back in the league.

  35. There was no evidence that Tom Brady did anything, either. Didn’t stop them from suspending him 4 games and docking the Pats $1M plus a 1st and 4th rd pick.

  36. Lots of irrational, emotional, sensitive, estrogen guzzling white knight social warriors on here. A woman can never be wrong or lying right guys? We must defend her honor! !

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