The New York Giants did today something they should have done last week.
Heck, they should have done it two months ago.
They released kicker Josh Brown.
“We believed we did the right thing at every juncture in our relationship with Josh,” said team president John Mara in a statement. “Our beliefs, our judgments and our decisions were misguided. We accept that responsibility.
“We hope that Josh will continue to dedicate himself to rehabilitation, and to becoming a better person and father. We will continue to support him in his efforts to continue counseling, and we hope that Josh and his family can find peace and a positive resolution.”
All of this is great and all, and yes the Giants did the right thing here, but they still look bad in this whole situation.
They can’t rely upon the commissioner’s office to do their dirty work in the future. A situation like this will happen again and maybe with a player more vital than Brown. Remember, Brown is a kicker, and although he was valuable, he is easily replaced.
So what if the next domestic violence offender is an All-Pro defensive lineman or even someone like the quarterback. No we are not accusing Jason Pierre-Paul of Eli Manning, of anything, nor should we. But in the future if someone on the team has these issues, will the Giants have the guts to do the right thing?
Mara added in his statement, “We have great respect and feel strongly about our support for the good people who work tirelessly and unconditionally to aid the victims of domestic violence and who bring awareness to the issue. We have been partners with My Sisters’ Place (a domestic violence shelter and advocate based in Westchester, New York) for nearly 20 years. The leadership of that organization has provided invaluable insight as we have considered our decisions in this matter. We value and respect their opinion, and we look forward to continuing to work with them in the future.”
That’s all good, but actions will speak louder. The Giants – and the Jets for that matter – should not leave it to the Commissioner, but have some sort of protocol in place for their own investigation.
Brown made the Giants look small on this issue. They looked indecisive and felt free to kick the can over to the NFL on this. That’s the easy way out and it backfired on them. Brown was going to kick for the Giants in London, until the tremendous public backlash forced them to ask the Roger Goodell to add their kicker to the Commissioner’s Exempt list and signed Robbie Gould.
A more decisive turn would have been cutting Brown last week, as the revelations of his past came out.
They should have lobbied the NFL for a greater suspension back in August when Brown received the slap on the wrist one game suspension.
Even though the Giants are a business, they are a public trust as well. Fair or not, of all the New York area teams, Big Blue is expected to do the right thing and run a clean ship.
Their reaction to the Brown situation dirtied that image and it’s up to John Mara to make sure it doesn’t happen again.