The release of new documents by the King County, Washington Sheriff regarding Giants kicker Josh Brown’s admissions of domestic violence had many people wondering why the NFL didn’t come up with a punishment more severe than a one-game suspension.
The NFL has joined the Giants, who re-signed Brown as a free agent and boasted they had done due diligence into Brown’s past, in saying that they were unaware of the existence of documents featuring Brown, who explained his arrest as one moment before evidence of more than 20 incidents came to light, admitting to abusing his then-wife and referring to her as “his slave.” The league issued a statement on Thursday saying that the release of these new documents will lead to Brown’s case being re-opened with the potential for further discipline.
“NFL 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. Each of those requests was denied and the Sheriff’s Office declined to provide any of the requested information, which ultimately limited our ability to fully investigate this matter. We concluded our own investigation, more than a year after the initial incident, based on the facts and evidence available to us at the time and after making exhaustive attempts to obtain information in a timely fashion. It is unfortunate that we did not have the benefit or knowledge of these materials at the time.”
“In light of the release of these documents yesterday, we will thoroughly review the additional information and determine next steps in the context of the NFL Personal Conduct Policy. We will not be making any comments on potential discipline until that time.”
Given all that was already known about Brown’s behavior, including his ex-wife telling police about a letter he wrote to friends admitting abuse in a report that was previously available, there will still be questions about the initial response of the league and the Giants to Brown’s actions.
There may also be questions about why the Commissioner’s exempt list, used in the Greg Hardy and Adrian Peterson cases, wasn’t used as a way for Brown to be removed from the roster while still being paid and under investigation if the league was unsatisfied with the information available to them in their investigation.