Over the past few days, it came to light that New York Giants’ kicker Josh Brown has a history of assaulting his wife. The comparison has been made to that of the Ray Rice incident, however what I found rather interesting was the reaction of the sports media, certain organizations, and that of the NFL was in stark contrast to his case.
When the news broke over the Ray Rice assault, it seemed that nearly every news outlet from The View to Sportscenter ran the video of the incident and discussed the story ad nauseam. The reporting of the story typically was the video footage of the fight and then the talking heads of the news outlet discussing the disturbing events of the aforementioned video and then concluding with what an awful person Ray Rice was and ultimately how the NFL cultivated this “culture of abuse.” However, by contrast, not only is the Josh Brown situation has gotten nowhere near the run on the airwaves the Rice story did, but the discussion in regards to Brown has been diluted in terms of the vigor that Rice was. I have heard some national shows that crushed Brown for what he did, but those have been too few and far between. the discussions have centered around how Josh Brown needs help more so than how deplorable of a person he may be. Did not Ray Rice, Greg Hardy and Ray McDonald also need that same help?
I have also observed the women’s group who were so vocal 2 years ago against Ray Rice have been conspicuously silent. The National Organization came out very strongly against Rice and demanded that NFL commissioner Roger Goddell resign. Women’s group UltraViolet flew banners over games calling for his sacking. NOW President Terry O’Neill said this: ” The NFL has lost its way. It doesn’t have a Ray Rice problem. It has a violence against women problem.” Groups are not demanding to have an audience with Goddell and the NFL brass following the Brown incident and that seems ,to say the least, questionable. The NOW and other organizations have maintained their radio silence when it comes to Josh Brown. Has the issue of domestic violence lost its importance to NOW, UltraViolet and other women’s groups?
The National Football League has also had a slightly different response to the Josh Brown assault. Totally forgetting about their own domestic violence policy, which was set in the wake of the Ray Rice affair, which mandated that domestic violence offenders will serve a minimum six game suspension, Brown was issued a one game sit down. The Giants cut the kicker this past Tuesday and shortly thereafter he was placed on the NFL’s version of purgatory, the Comissioner’s exemption list.
The Josh Brown case was yet another black eye on the NFL and an embarrassment for the New York Giants. However it also exposed biases and hypocrisies within the sports media and social and women’s groups. This is surprising(but not really) considering the number of incidents ,the amount of time over which they transpired and who witnessed them, makes this incident even worse than that of Ray Rice.