New York Giants kicker Josh Brown, in official documents released to SNY.TV on Wednesday, admitted to physically and emotionally abusing his now ex-wife.
"I have physically, verbally and emotionally abused my wife,” Brown wrote in a Contract for Change signed March 28, 2013, by him, his wife and a Seattle-area counselor.
This story is about Josh Brown, not his ex-wife. This story is about Josh Brown, not the NFL. This story is about Josh Brown, not the New York Giants. This story is about a man with a history of problems. A man who didn’t know how to deal with the abuse he suffered as a child.
I like to think that I am open-minded. Not about everything, mind you. But, most things. I try to analyze all possible angles. It’s important to know the story behind the story, especially when you’re a writer. Without the background, it’s too easy to form an opinion. Too easy to tweet out 140 characters.
I also like to think that everyone deserves a shot at redemption. Why? Because what if it was me that needed a second-chance? What if I, after one or a series of terrible decisions, needed someone to say “You’re forgiven. We’re willing to let you try again.”
No man should ever hit a woman. Some people stop right there. That’s the end of the story for them.
No man should ever hit a woman, but also, no woman should ever hit a man. All equal, right? But, it happens in our society and around the world. We’re all adults here. No need to sugar-coat things. In relationships, men hit women, women hit men, men hit men, women hit women.
It happens and is happening even as I am typing these words. Somewhere someone is a victim of domestic violence. Somewhere someone is beating their “loved” one.
(Photo Credit: USA Today)
In April 2015, I wrote about Darren Sharper and what happens to the victims he left behind. They are left with memories of pain, horror, self-doubt and questions. They are left with relationship issues - trust and love, chief among them.
As in the case of Josh Brown, what happens to the victims left behind in the case of sexual child abuse. How often does a child talk about it? If they do, how many adults don’t believe them?
How many children are threatened by their abuser to not tell anyone? How many children are lured, coerced into acts unimaginable? What kind of adults do they grow up to be when someone believes or doesn’t believe them? What kind of adults do they grow up to be when they do or don’t tell anyone?
Josh Brown abused his (then) wife. Physically and emotionally according to admission. A physical and emotional toll would weigh on anyone mentally too, right?
Physical, emotional, mental. Memories that will last a lifetime for Brown’s ex-wife.
Sexual. Memories that will last a lifetime for Brown.
When the topic of domestic violence comes up with athletes these days, many want sports leagues to take a hard line. I get that. But, that only addresses one aspect of the entire issue of domestic violence.
Suspension and expulsion won’t change behavior. No, the issue goes much deeper than that as we can see with Josh Brown. His problems started when he was a child and manifested as he grew older.
(Photo Credit: USA Today)
Will suspending or expelling Brown now from the NFL change him? Will it stop other NFL players from beating their wives and girlfriends? No. That’s like slapping a band-aid on a compound fracture. It’s only treating the problem at the surface when it goes much deeper than that.
We all like to think we’d know what we would do if it was our daughter in a relationship with Brown or Ray Rice or Greg Hardy or.... But, we don’t know until it happens to us.
I would hope that I would recognize the signs early on in the relationship. But, if not, I would hope that my daughter would tell me. I would hope that she would listen to me when I tell her she needs to get far away from him. I would hope that I would go to the house myself, pack everything she owns and get her the heck out of there. I would hope that I could encourage her to go to the police and report what Brown was doing to her.
I would hope that she would understand that Brown is a man with problems she can’t fix.
Not even the NFL can fix Josh Brown.