NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s trip to London for Sunday’s game between the New York Giants and Los Angeles Rams brought questions about the one player who won't be on the field.
Giants kicker Josh Brown was left home and placed on paid leave via the commissioner’s exempt list Friday as the NFL reviews recently released documents in which Brown admits to abusing his ex-wife and considers potential additional discipline.
In an interview with the BBC, Goodell emphasized the NFL “asked repeatedly” for the documents before they were made public this week by the King County (Wash.) Sheriff’s Department and said the initial decision to suspend Brown for just one game at the start of the season was based on the facts they had at the time.
“We take this issue incredibly seriously,” Goodell said. “This is something we've been working on with policy changes, to educating our players to make sure they understand how they deal with issues with their family, give them resources to be able to deal with this. But when it happens, we’re not going to tolerate it. So we have some new information here, we’ll evaluate that in the context of our policy, and we’ll take it from there.”
Asked if he’s disappointed in the Giants and an investigatory process that didn’t uncover more details, Goodell told the BBC: “That’s why we’d like to speak to the people involved, whether it’s the victim or the people involved that may have information, including law enforcement. But we understand that in certain cases, they may not be permitted to talk to us or want to talk to us, and we don’t make judgments on people where they do that. What we want to do is get the facts, and when we get the facts, we’re going to aggressively pursue that, and we’ll apply our policy.”
Also Friday, Brown’s teammate, Giants star receiver Odell Beckham Jr., was fined $24,309 for unsportsmanlike conduct after he took off his helmet while celebrating a touchdown and appeared to yell at an official as he left the field during a win over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.
Asked about comparisons made between punishments for things like domestic violence and end zone dances, Goodell said: “I understand the public’s misunderstanding of those things and how that can be difficult for them to understand how we get to those positions. But those are things that we have to do. I think it’s a lot deeper and a lot more complicated than it appears, but it gets a lot of focus.”