By Ronn Torossian, CEO, 5W PR
Giants kicker Josh Brown was placed on paid leave last Friday, and that has millions of NFL fans fuming … not because of the penalty, but because, they say, it doesn’t go nearly far enough. The PR narrative continued to spiral after Giants coach Ben McAdoo failed miserably to answer questions about how the team might discipline the player.
The issue at the heart of the brewing scandal is that Brown is alleged to have committed several acts of abuse against his former wife, Molly. “Alleged” only in that he was never formally charged or convicted of the crimes. Brown has reportedly admitted to several of them in writing.
But there’s no formal conviction, and therein lies the rub. Brown was given a letter from NFL VP Adolpho Birch, which stated, in part, that the league was suspending him pending its investigation but added that this, “does not represent a finding that you have violated the personal conduct policy…”
Essentially, the letter means that Brown is on the “exempt list” which means he cannot attend Giants practices or games, but he can attend meetings and workouts. And, of course, he still gets paid.
The NFL Players Association released the following statement: “The NFL has the ability to place a player on the exempt list, and the player has the right to appeal that decision if he chooses… The League office wanted unilateral control of this process, and accordingly, their system lacks transparency.”
The issue at hand now is speed and transparency. These days, people want instant gratification. The longer they “know” about an incident without finality increases frustration. Brown is in the process, but people hear “abuse,” and they want immediate action. When they learn some of these allegations stretch back years, they really get upset.
Even Giant fans are aggravated that the team and the league have waited this long to take any action against a guy who admits to multiple forms of abuse and describes himself as a terrible husband.