NFL on defense amid new revelations about Josh Brown's wife abuse


In this Sept. 29, 2013, file photo, New York Giants kicker Josh Brown reacts after missing a field goal during the first half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. 

Charlie Riedel, AP

Last Updated Oct 21, 2016 7:46 AM EDT

The NFL is reopening its investigation of a domestic violence complaint against New York Giants’ placekicker Josh Brown. Newly-released documents show the athlete admitted he verbally and physically abused his former wife. Brown was suspended for the first game of the season, but critics say that punishment was too lenient.

Police in Washington have decided not to file charges against Brown, but these latest revelations and other red flags are raising more questions about how the league deals with domestic abuse issues, reports CBS News’ Dana Jacobson.

Brown was back on the field in week two after the NFL suspended him just one game this season. That decision followed their investigation into a 2015 arrest stemming from a domestic abuse complaint made by Brown’s now ex-wife, Molly. 

“We’ve moved forward with our lives, and while I’m not ok with the decision, I have to respect it,” Brown said in August. 

Criminal charges were never filed.

Newly-released documents obtained by Washington police during their investigation go into graphic detail about Brown’s treatment of his wife. 

She described one 2014 incident where Brown “pushed her into a large mirror in their bedroom and then threw her on the floor and jumped on top of her, holding her face down into the carpet.”

The documents also include emails and journal entries from Brown himself where he writes, “I have abused my wife” and “I viewed myself as God basically and she was my slave.” 

“When the NFL announced the suspension of Josh Brown back in August, they already had a statement or they knew that his former wife…had told law enforcement that there was a pattern of abuse more than twenty times in recent years,” said USA Today sports columnist Nancy Armour.

New York Giants co-owner John Mara told New York radio station WFAN that he was aware of the abuse but after speaking with Brown, decided to re-sign the kicker to a two-year, $4 million contract.

“He’s admitted to us that he’s abused his wife in the past and I think is a little unclear is the extent of that, but what we’ve read about is obviously disturbing,” Mara said in the interview.

“Did you ever try or did the team try to talk to the wife? Or no?” the interviewer asked.

“No,” Mara said.

The NFL defended their decision saying they “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.”

The league’s handling of this incident is drawing comparisons to Ray Rice’s domestic abuse case in 2014. The NFL initially penalized Rice two games but then suspended him indefinitely after video surfaced of him hitting his wife in an Atlantic City casino. 

“It wasn’t until it came out in the public that the NFL said, ‘Okay, well we better take a look at this,’ and that’s the same thing that they are doing here with Josh Brown,” Armour said.

So far, Brown’s long-term future with the Giants is still unclear. The team has only announced that he won’t be traveling with them for Sunday’s game in London.

Brown could be facing a six-game suspension, which is now the standard penalty for first-time offenders of the league’s domestic abuse policy. We reached out to Brown for comment, but have not heard back.