Never one afraid to speak his mind, veteran wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. took to social media on Thursday night to rip the NFL for what he feels is the league’s continual mishandling of incidents of domestic violence committed by players in the league, most recently by Giants kicker Josh Brown.
“We have valued the amount of air in a ball but yet devalued when a person or persons may have been harmed and fail to put forth necessary actions of energy and time in which far less important things have taken precedent!” Steve Smith said.
“There have been players with far less [offenses,] some have been banned, cut on the spot. But this person had behaviour patterns behind closed doors unknown to everyone while swift and harsh action handed down to many players without half the details or amount of time.”
He added: “Our system is broken the NFL needs to stop acting like they care and start showing people they mean what they say. I will continue to speak for the voiceless and for my mother who is a survivor of domestic violence.”
Earlier on Thursday, Smith took to Twitter to address the Brown situation in more acerbic terms:
Brown was arrested in May 2015 on fourth-degree domestic-violence charges. He said then that the incident was “just a moment,” but his now ex-wife, Molly, told the police at the time that he had been abusive more than “20 times.”
Brown was suspended one game at the start of the season, and the Giants publicly said during the preseason that they supported him.
Then, earlier this week, the Kings County (WA) Sheriff’s Department released 165 pages of documents from Brown’s arrest, which included a journal entry in which Brown admitted explicitly to physically and emotionally abusing his ex-wife.
“I have physically, mentally, emotionally and verbally been a repulsive man,” Brown wrote in one of his journal entries. Below that, he circled the sentence, “I have abused my wife.”
In light of the new details, which led SportsCenter on Thursday and quickly became the biggest story in the sports world, the NFL announced that it had re-opened its investigation of Brown. That same day, the Giants quickly signed kicker Robbie Gould, announcing that Brown will not travel with the team to London for this weekend’s game against the Rams.
But Brown’s future — both with the Giants and in the NFL — remains unclear, and the way in which the entire situation has been handled has rankled followers of the NFL.
CBS Sports’ Will Brinson called the Giants’ response to the matter “reactionary”:
The entirety of the Giants’ decision-making on Josh Brown has been reactionary to public opinion. It’s nothing short of repulsive.
— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) October 20, 2016
And Andrew Brandt of Sports Illustrated’s MMQB compared the situation to the Ray Rice situation:
We may be looking at similar reaction as Rice (without video). Light NFL suspension, team supports. New info, new discipline, team reacts.
— Andrew Brandt (@AndrewBrandt) October 20, 2016
The two situations are undoubtedly similar, though the big difference as of now is that the Giants continue to support Brown, despite the fact that his days in the NFL seem numbered.
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