Why did NFL reduce Josh Brown’s suspension from six games to one?

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One of the biggest lingering questions regarding the Josh Brown case relates to the decision to suspend him for the May 2015 incident that resulted in his arrest. With the NFL now using a six-game suspension as the baseline for first-offense domestic violence, why was he suspended for only one game?

The Personal Conduct Policy, as revised after the Ray Rice debacle, establishes the six-game suspension for a first offense, with the possibility of the suspension increasing or decreasing, based on aggravating or mitigating factors.

“Possible aggravating factors include, but are not limited to, a prior violation of the Personal Conduct Policy, similar misconduct before joining the NFL, violence involving a weapon, choking, repeated striking, or when an act is committed against a particularly vulnerable person, such as a child, a pregnant woman, or an elderly person, or where the act is committed in the presence of a child,” the policy states. As to mitigating factors, there is no similar explanation.

So what are the mitigating factors? Absent an effort to identify them, mitigating factors can be whatever the NFL wants them to be.

As to Brown, there were two mitigating factors, from the league’s perspective. First, the NFL didn’t regard the incident as a serious instance of domestic violence, since Brown simply grabbed his now-ex-wife’s wrist. (Many would say that any incident of domestic violence is serious.) Second, the NFL considered its difficulty in getting cooperation from Brown’s now-ex-wife or from law enforcement to be a mitigating factor.

The better approach would be to stick with the default penalty of six games for any incident of domestic violence, unless and until the player can articulate and prove true mitigating factors on appeal. The structure of the policy, however, suggests that the NFL doesn’t want to impose a standard of this nature, possibly since it would strip the league of the ability to point to any factor it wants as a mitigating factor — regardless of whether it actually is.

50 responses to “Why did NFL reduce Josh Brown’s suspension from six games to one?

  1. NFL doesn’t give a damn what happens to women in general, wives in particular and even less the children of their athletes.

  2. The NFL should take “its difficulty in getting cooperation from Brown’s now-ex-wife” very seriously. It is rooted in her mistrust the league would address the situation with INTEGRITY.

    If player’s wives can’t trust the league, what does that tell us fans?

  3. Josh Brown promised to do a bunch of naughty and nasty things until Roger Goodell screams his safe word….. Giselle. It was way too good of a deal for Roger to pass up

  4. What is more disgusting than Brown’s actions is the NFL’s feeble attempt to act like they care about domestic violence and effectively punish Brown a second time for the same incident that they tried to ignore/make light of the first time around. It’s Ray Rice all over again. Roger Godell this and you are pathetic.

  5. We all know that the Giants, Jets, Colts, Broncos, and Ravens get special treatment from Goodell.

    Mara, Goodell, and the Giants players knew about the abuse, but covered it up. Mara admitted as much and NFL seurity had to rescue Molly Brown from Josh at last year’s Pro Bowl.

    Woody Johnson tampers with Revis on live TV in front of millions of people and gets a tine $100K fine. KC “might” have made a phone call and loses a pick(s?) and $500K.

    Goodell saw the Ray Rice video, but only gave him 2 games. Only when TMZ outed the video did Roger change the suspension. (And lied about the video.)

    The NFL manipulated the refs for Denver in the SB and AFCCG and placed a rabid fan in the replay booth. We all saw the clear catch that was ruled incomplete for Carolina and how the game turned on that blown call. The NFL also ignored the PED scandalcreated by Manning despite mounds of evidence and the goons PEDton sent to the doctor’s parents’ house. You can Google the sister’s panicked 911 call.

    On a cold night, the Colts’ and Pats’ footballs all tested illegally low. Only NE was punished despite the fact that several teams have complained to the league about seeing Colts’ personnel with inflation needles on the sidelines which is a serious violation. The Colts also admitted in the Well$’ Report to tampering with the ball Jackson intercepted.

    Bountygate was proven to be made up.

    Bullygate was proven to be made up.

  6. Goodell is an embarrassment. Constant lies, no INTEGRITY..clueless on what the fan wants, CTE and mother nature…fire him and suspend Mara.

  7. The NFL explained this six weeks ago.

    I disagree with them, but they did explain it.

    How they could consider the lack of “cooperation” from the victim to be a mitigating factor is simply insane. DV victims have myriad reasons to not want to talk about the abuse. Them not talking to the NFL should not lessen anything.

  8. To say that the league simply hates or does not like women may sound like a stretch but really, how far from that reality do their actions lie?

  9. I honestly think the only way to determine what really transpired as the NFL decided on the suspension is to review the phone records of Mara and Godell.

    Anyone else know how to get to the bottom of what really transpired?

  10. The prosecutor gave one of the same reasons for why he chose not to press legal charges against Brown. The failure of the ex-wife to cooperate.

    Where is the outcry against him?

    How about we let the justice system handle the legal issues and the NFL handle football issues?

  11. Correct me if I am wrong but did we not receive information last week per his wife and journal that he both physically and mentally abused his wife? Why is he now stating that he never struck his wife? There are some conflicting factors that need to be seriously investigated on this matter currently. Why 1 game for Brown but 2 for Ray Rice? Are they just making up rules and repercussions as they see fit?

  12. Mara admitted to knowing Brown’s history and the Pro Bowl incident before the suspension came down. If the NFL didn’t have all that information, then Mara impeded the investigation. Obviously the punishment was based on Goodell’s relationship with Mara. Goodell should be gone and the Giants sanctioned.

  13. There’s no question why it was reduced. It was one of Mara’s players.

    Roger’s double standard is clearly visible in domestic violence cases where they continue to enable dv.

    Between this and the Ray Rice incident if Roger ever utters the word integrity again he should get a beating.

  14. I agree. They should make all incidents six games. No mitigating factors. You’d think the NFL front office would get tired of looking like a bunch of buffoons but apparently they love it–either that or they’re too stupid to realize how stupid they look.

  15. Anyone with a brain already knew the NFL cares nothing about domestic violence, breast cancer, or any other issue. The interesting thing is that a significant number of posters here don’t care about domestic violence either.

    Anthem truthers are not the most compassionate demographic. They’re much more the “she must have deserved it” type.

  16. Normally I come to a site to *get* the answer to questions such as these. Good job dropping the ball yet again.

  17. Lets put aside the fact that Josh Brown’s actions were completely inexcusable (and they were). But this is a case where Brown’s career has likely been ruined by the NLF and Roger Goodell’s incompetence.

    Had Brown just been suspended for 6 games at the start this never would have become an issue. Brown might not have been re-signed by the Giants last year. But at least at this point he would have served his suspension and would have been a free agent eligible to have been signed.

    But instead he now has a close to zero chance of ever playing again and his name has been thrust into the public conscience so this is a story is going to follow him for the rest of his life. Sure he might deserve it, but in this case does the punishment really fit the crime?

    Let’s hope that this will be the catalyst needed to get rid of Goodell and all of the morons in the NFL office.

  18. dstroi says:
    Oct 26, 2016 11:11 AM
    Correct me if I am wrong but did we not receive information last week per his wife and journal that he both physically and mentally abused his wife? Why is he now stating that he never struck his wife? There are some conflicting factors that need to be seriously investigated on this matter currently. Why 1 game for Brown but 2 for Ray Rice? Are they just making up rules and repercussions as they see fit?

    ——————————————————————-
    I won’t claim to know everything about the case but the article I read said that he restrained her and forced her head down onto the bed and/or floor. It did not have any mention of him striking her.
    Dominating and intimidating someone in that manner is still physical abuse, just not in the way that you are thinking.

  19. ricko1112 says:
    Oct 26, 2016 10:58 AM

    We all know that the Giants, Jets, Colts, Broncos, and Ravens get special treatment from Goodell.
    _________________________________
    You forgot about the Steelers

  20. Mitigating=the NFL loophole so they can do whatever they damned well please (especially for their NFL owner friends).

  21. dadindebt6 says:
    Oct 26, 2016 11:10 AM

    The prosecutor gave one of the same reasons for why he chose not to press legal charges against Brown. The failure of the ex-wife to cooperate.

    Where is the outcry against him?

    How about we let the justice system handle the legal issues and the NFL handle football issues?
    ——————————

    Suspending and releasing players that abuse women and/or children is a football issue. The NFL shouldn’t want those types around, just like any other company wouldn’t.

    Josh Brown is no longer the issue. The issue is the mishandling of the discipline of a player that was known to have been engaged in domestic violence.

    The Giants should never have even re-upped the guy in the first place.

  22. This:

    The NFL should take “its difficulty in getting cooperation from Brown’s now-ex-wife” very seriously. It is rooted in her mistrust the league would address the situation with INTEGRITY.

    If player’s wives can’t trust the league, what does that tell us fans?

  23. Perhaps whats not being said is that he grabbed her wrist because she had knife in her hand? Wouldn’t that be “mitigating”?

  24. dadindebt6 says:
    Oct 26, 2016 11:30 AM
    dstroi says:
    Oct 26, 2016 11:11 AM
    Correct me if I am wrong but did we not receive information last week per his wife and journal that he both physically and mentally abused his wife? Why is he now stating that he never struck his wife? There are some conflicting factors that need to be seriously investigated on this matter currently. Why 1 game for Brown but 2 for Ray Rice? Are they just making up rules and repercussions as they see fit?

    ——————————————————————-
    I won’t claim to know everything about the case but the article I read said that he restrained her and forced her head down onto the bed and/or floor. It did not have any mention of him striking her.
    Dominating and intimidating someone in that manner is still physical abuse, just not in the way that you are thinking.
    **********************************************
    Thank you for your feedback. I am just taking everything into account from what he said vs what she said. She did state that she was physically and mentally abused on 20+ occasions. I would think that since he is stating that he did not strike her but other statements suggest that he did, it would call for a prompt investigation no? Regardless, never put your hands on a woman in a negative manner period

  25. There’s only one correct answer, because the Giants are owned by the Mara family.

    The NFL plays favorites, shocker.

  26. How about we let the justice system handle the legal issues and the NFL handle football issues?

    Because when Roger Goodell became commissioner, HE decided he wanted full control over the Personal Conduct Policy, involve himself in all social issues, and be the judge, jury, appeal hearer, and sole enforcer of discipline over non-football issues.

  27. mackcarrington says:
    Oct 26, 2016 11:54 AM

    Perhaps whats not being said is that he grabbed her wrist because she had knife in her hand? Wouldn’t that be “mitigating”?
    ———————-

    Not if it isn’t being said.

    Seems like a pertinent detail like that would have been reported.

  28. trailerparkking says:
    Oct 26, 2016 11:14 AM
    The NFLPA covered it up and then pressured the NFL.
    ______________

    That is the single numbest thing I have seen posted on this subject, and that is saying a lot. The NFLPA pressuring the NFL is like a nail pressuring a hammer. Please explain how the players association covered up the NFL’s security people moving her to another room at the Pro Bowl. The NFL was the only one of the 2 in position to try to cover up anything.

    The problem here isn’t about covering anything up or Mara and Goodell playing footsie, it’s much worse than that. We are talking about a kicker, not a some 16 sack beast or 1500 yd receiver, there’s always another kicker. They made not one in person attempt to obtain information and their investigators used personal not league emails in their correspondence. It’s worse than trying to cover for the oh so important slightly above average kicker or a back door deal. It’s institutional indifference. They simply did not care enough to even make a real effort. This is the same league that used the Brady/Peterson decisions to force the AJ 4 to do interviews but they wouldn’t make Brown hand over his journals. They spent $15M+ on framegate and an estimated $3M on Peterson to get that legal gun to put to the head of any player but couldn’t take the time to even send someone physically to that sheriff’s or prosecutor’s office or compel Brown to hand over his journals. We want it to be some cover up or deal because the truth is so much worse. Mara & Goodell didn’t cut a deal over a kicker, no one cares about a $2M kicker, the disgusting truth is THEY JUST DIDN’T GIVE A DAMN!

  29. It is really hard to believe that the owners haven’t fall-guyed Goodell by now.

    Nothing that they say or do is ever going to matter with that duplicitous, lying buffoon as commissioner.

  30. Following the Ray Rice fiasco, the NFL instituted a new rule that called for a six game ban even for first time abusers. Now here’s a clearly guilty player (otherwise why punish him one game), under an ongoing criminal investigation. IMO, NFL had two options:

    1. Follow the letter of their own rules and suspend him for 6 games even if they believe he deserved less, or

    2. Suspend him for 1 game and take a double risk; first that the public will be upset you lowered a 6 games ban to 1 and second that the investigation will unearth more dirt.

    It’s a no-brainer that the safest and smartest decision to make is the first one. Would the public be upset that a kicker was banned 6 games for a hot topic issue? Especially since the policy was already in place. If “a video” surfaced later the NFL would be covered. And bottom line they could make a strong statement with a 6 games ban and repair some of the past mistakes. It makes perfect sense to make this decision.

    And yet they chose to only ban him for one game…..

  31. BTW, reminds me of a Chris Rock joke: “I used to work at McDonald’s making minimum wage. You know what that means when someone pays you minimum wage? You know what your boss was trying to say? “Hey if I could pay you less, I would, but it’s against the law.”

    It’s exactly what the NFL did here “If we could punish you less we would but it’s against the rules”

  32. This is the reason why I don’t watch as much football any more. Roger Goodell and his Public relations nightmares. Domestic abuse, framing innocent teams and players, not paying former players who have given their all to the game, denying that concussions result from playing football. There are no morals in the NFL front office other than the pursuit of money.

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