The Josh Brown incident has sparked outrage as a proud organization, the New York Giants, don’t seem as classy as fans believe.There aren’t many franchises in the sports world that have the distinction of truly being first class.
Fortunately for the New York Giants, those are two words that have been synonymous with the organization.
Bill Bellicheck had glowing remarks on Big Blue’s honoring of Frank Gifford and Ann Mara in 2015:
“I know that Ann Mara and Frank [Gifford] meant so much to the great tradition of the New York Giants and very fortunate to have had the opportunity to get to know and work with, in varying degrees, both people. These recognitions of Ann and Frank, to me, just really touches the great tradition the Giants have, have always had, and how important those two people were.’’
Sure, Olivier Vernon may have been jaded by a five-year, $85 million contract offer. But the new defensive end didn’t have to say, “From what I heard about (from) former players that played for the Giants and play there now, it’s all good things — first-class organization.”
But it’s not just former coaches and current players that have this sentiment.
Justin Tuck, who finished his career with the Oakland Raiders, considers himself a part of the family. Although Antrel Rolle suited up for the Arizona Cardinals before his stint in blue and with the Chicago Bears after, he says he is a Giant at heart. Hell, even Osi Umenyiora — who didn’t leave the organization on the best of terms — is now an ambassador for the organization.
“Once a Giant, always a Giant” isn’t just a motto, it’s a way of life. It’s the way of life for a franchise that has been great with the community and its peers. One that, above all else, has been known to do things the right way.
Which is why this Josh Brown situation isn’t only surprising — it’s disappointing.
There’s no need to rehash what has been dominating Twitter and sports sites over the past 24 hours. Brown, who was suspended for the first game of 2016 due violating the NFL’s code of conduct policy, had private, hand-written documents exposed where he admitted to being a serial domestic abuser.
Unfortunately, domestic violence is a part of society. A bigger problem, however, is enablers. And that’s exactly what the John Mara and company have been.
They knew about the incident that led to the suspension in May of 2015. In what has also been revealed, the organization knew that Brown’s wife called hotel security on her husband during the Pro Bowl in January of 2016 because of an altercation.
But somehow, that didn’t stop the Giants.
Mara, the person that said “there is no place for domestic violence in our sport or in our society, and we are committed to doing our part to prevent such heinous acts going forward,” after the Ray Rice incident, was the same person who gave Brown $4 million for two years work in April of 2016 — after he knew of the two incidents.
Mara, the same man who serves on the Board of Directors for both St. Vincent’s Hospital and Boys Hope Girls Hope, is also a man who said although Brown admitted to abusing his wife in the past, “I think is a little unclear is the extent of that.”
Mara, the same man who refused to draft offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil because he smoked weed is the same man who has yet to remove Brown from the Giants roster. And although he didn’t travel with the team to London, he is still receiving a paycheck — that’s signed by Mara.
Up until this point, it was easy to be a proud Giants fan. It was easy to root for a team that does so many great things in the community, helps with underprivileged children and aids military personnel, just to name a few ventures. But unfortunately, Mara and company have acted the same way as Jerry Jones, someone who was bashed in the media for allowing convicted domestic abuser Greg Hardy to suit up for the Dallas Cowboys last season.
The Giants are going to make money, regardless of what happens. They’re going to continue to fill MetLife Stadium as merchandise flies off of the shelves.
But in the end, they’re not too different than some of these other franchises. And that’s the biggest disappointment of them all.