Giants owner John Mara: Josh Brown 'certainly' told us he abused wife

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Attempting to provide answers in the hours after the team announced place-kicker Josh Brown would not make the trip to London for this weekend's game, New York Giants co-owner John Mara only raised more questions.

While discussing the team’s handling of Brown’shistory of domestic violence, Mara acknowledged that he knew of Brown’s past and that the team was aware of a specific incident at the Pro Bowl during which the NFL was forced to intervene on the behalf of Brown’s ex-wife.

“He certainly admitted to us that he abused his wife in the past,” Mara said in a radio interview Thursday evening on WFAN New York. “What’s a little unclear is the extent of that.”

 

The radio interview was the only time Mara addressed the situation Thursday. He did not meet with reporters at MetLife Stadium.

At the Pro Bowl, Brown had arranged for he and his ex-wife, Molly Brown, to have two separate hotel rooms, according to testimony Molly Brown gave police. She told police that Brown “showed up at Molly's room drunk and was pounding on her door to be let in.”

Molly Brown called NFL security and hotel security, who escorted the kicker away. Molly Brown also told police that the NFL put her and her children up in a different hotel room so that Brown would not know their location.

Asked about that incident, Mara said: “The whole thing bothered me.”

Despite having those details, the Giants re-signed Brown to a two-year, $4 million contract in April.

When speaking to reporters in August, Mara defended the decision to re-sign Brown. He said then the Giants “did do some due diligence” on Brown’s past prior to the team agreeing to the deal, but Mara cited only “a number of conversations with a number of different people” as part of that.

On Thursday, Mara revealed that the organization never spoke to Brown’s ex-wife prior to re-signing him.

 

In a statement Thursday, the team announced that Brown won’t be making the trip to London to face the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. The team’s flight was scheduled to depart Thursday at 8:30 p.m. ET.

“In light of the news reports regarding the documents released by the State of Washington yesterday, we think it makes sense to review this newly disclosed information and to revisit this issue following our trip to London,” the franchise said in a statement.

“The Giants do not condone or excuse any form of domestic violence. Josh has acknowledged that he has issues in his life and has been working on these issues through therapy and counseling for a long period of time. We remain supportive of Josh and his efforts.”

Former Chicago Bears kicker Robbie Gould was on a flight Thursday night to London to join the New York Giants, a person with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal had not yet been announced.

The King County (Wash.) Sheriff's Office released documents Wednesday evening in which Brown admitted to the abuse of his ex-wife in a series of journal entries and emails.

According to a Giants spokesman, the team had been previously unaware of the documents, which Molly Brown had handed over to police investigators.

 

In response to the release of the documents, the NFL issued a statement Thursday afternoon, saying the league “will thoroughly review the additional information and determine next steps in the context of the NFL Personal Conduct Policy.”

The league is considering the possibility of placing Brown on the commissioner’s exempt list, which would provide paid leave, while it considers discipline, a person with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports' Tom Pelissero. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

Both Mara and Giants head coach Ben McAdoo, who also answered questions on WFAN, said they spoke to Brown Thursday.

McAdoo declined to comment extensively, saying he had only “bits and pieces” and that the team was trying to “get all the facts and do right by Josh.”

Police charged Brown with assault in the fourth degree/domestic violence after his arrest on May 22, 2015, which was the result of an alleged altercation with his ex-wife.

Those charges were dropped in August.

Brown told reporters in August “it was just a moment” when asked about the arrest.

“I think it’s too early to tell that,” Mara said Thursday of Brown’s future with the team. “Right now, we want to accumulate as much information as we can and we’ll make that determination at the appropriate time.”


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