Josh Brown insisted the NFL "has known everything" about his domestic violence history, and he's upset that his own admissions in his private journals were "used against me" as the Giants and the NFL pushed him out of the league.
In his first interview since last August, just after the NFL announced his one-game suspension stemming from a year-old domestic violence arrest, the 37-year-old kicker seemed most upset that his journals - first released by SNY.tv in October - became public and are now evidence in the NFL's investigation. Despite admitting to physically abusing his now ex-wife Molly in those journals, he insisted to ABC's Good Morning America that he never actually hit her.
Those journals, he said, were his attempt to "heal".
"The fact that my private things are being used against me, that's hard to swallow," Brown said. "I'm talking about my journals. I had to learn all that and write that down in order to heal. And now you're telling me that I'm going to be punished for trying to correct the things in my life that needed to be changed?"
In those journals, Brown described himself as a sex-addicted "deviant" who viewed himself as "God" and his wife as "my slave." He also admitted "I have abused my wife" both physically and mentally.
Despite Brown's assertion that the NFL "has known everything" about his situation, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell insisted on Wednesday that "we didn't have all the information from law enforcement" when they gave Brown his seemingly light one-game suspension. A league spokesman reiterated that to SNY.tv on Thursday and made it clear that they definitely did not see the journals, which were part of the police report released by the King County (Wash.) Sherriff's Office stemming from Brown's arrest on domestic violence charges in May, 2015.
"As we said in October, we did not have all the information, including the journals and the materials released by the King's County Sheriff Office," said Brian McCarthy, the league's VP of communications. "We concluded our own investigation, more than a year after the initial incident, based on the facts and evidence available to us at the time and after making exhaustive attempts to obtain information in a timely fashion.
"It is unfortunate that we did not have the benefit or knowledge of these materials."
A team source with the Giants previously insisted they had not seen the journals either, which would seem to explain why they remained strongly in support of Brown right up until the day those journals were released to the public.
Once they were, the Giants first decided to keep Brown home from their trip to London to play the Los Angeles Rams and co-owner John Mara curiously went on the radio and said Brown "admitted to us he'd abused his wife in the past. What's a little unclear is the extent of that." Just a few days later, after Brown was placed on the reserve/commissioner exempt list, the Giants released him.
The NFL and the Giants definitely knew about Brown's arrest in May, 2015, though, when the police report said he grabbed his wife's wrist and that she had a small but visible injury. Brown, in his interview on Thursday morning, disputed the details in that report and insisted "I did not touch her wrist."
"I reached for the phone, I grabbed the top of the phone, she screams, I back away, she leaves," Brown said. "Thirty-five minutes later I'm in handcuffs."
In that police report, Brown's wife accused him of "more than 20" instances of domestic violence. Brown insisted that was also false. "I absolutely dispute it," he said.
Of course, in his journals he details many instances of domestic violence - both physical and mental. That seems to contradict his assertion to ABC that "I have never hit this woman. I never hit her. Not once."
The words in the journals, Brown said, "were the things that you say to yourself and then you burn them. And I didn't."
The interview was the beginning of Brown's attempt to get back into football. Goodell said on Wednesday that the investigation into Brown is still open and ABC reported that league investigators will fly to Seattle next week to speak to Brown again.
Asked about that, the NFL spokesman said "The investigation is comprehensive and ongoing. We are not going to comment on specifics of the investigation."
Brown, who will turn 38 in April, sounded obviously eager to move on so he can try to get back on the field.
"I want to be able to play again," Brown said. "I want to be able to continue to write this story, continue to be a voice for change."
Does he think it will happen? "Maybe," he said. "We'll see. If it doesn't happen, I'm fine.