Giants general manager Jerry Reese, who re-signed kicker Josh Brown this past offseason with knowledge of at least some of the player’s history of domestic violence, refused on Monday to answer any questions about that decision or the franchise’s decisions that followed.
Brown was released by the Giants last week after new documents were made public in which he admitted to abusing his then-wife in journals and in a letter to friends.
“I’m not taking any questions on Josh Brown,” Reese said in a rare meeting with reporters. “I wish healing for him and his family and everybody involved. That’s all I’m going to say about that.”
Pressed on the subject, Reese refused to budge.
“Stop asking me, I’m not going to take any questions about that,” he snapped after a third query on the subject.
Asked why, Reese said: “Because I don’t think it makes sense for people to keep talking about that situation right now.”
Monday was the first time any Giants representatives were available to the media after the decision to release Brown was made last Tuesday. The Giants were on a bye.
Coach Ben McAdoo also was asked about the team’s decision to part ways with the kicker. He said he has spoken to Brown since his release and is keeping the details of that conversation private.
“We released a statement afterward and the statement really said everything about it,” McAdoo said. “I don’t have much to add other than we hope Josh and his family find peace. Anything we can do to support that and help it out, we’ll do that.”
McAdoo was asked if Brown’s situation was a burden on the team.
“I wouldn’t say a burden has been lifted,” he said. “Obviously, no one wants to go through any situation like that. Anything that happens inside or outside of the locker room, you take that situation and you handle the situation and you move on.
“I don’t think it’s been a distraction.”
Eli Manning agreed with that assessment.
“I just wish Josh, his whole family, that they can move on and go on and get through this time,” the quarterback said. “It’s unfortunate for a lot of parties . . . but for our mindset now, we’ve got to get back to football and the team and the guys that are here and go do our job.”
Unlike Reese, Manning answered a series of questions about Brown and offered some of the most thoughtful comments on the situation from the organization.
“I’m not in a position to judge a person,” Manning said. “There’s a situation. You understand what’s right and wrong and how to conduct yourself and how to treat women and treat children and people. I think you can speak out on that and how to do it, but you also, when it happens or someone who may have experienced that or gone through that, you still support the person. They’re still a friend. They’re still a teammate and you stand up for him, but you can still preach about doing things the right way.”
That Manning did speak out and preach, in a public-service commercial against domestic violence two years ago, brought criticism upon him when he showed support for Brown in recent weeks.
“It sounds like you’re having conflicting thoughts,” Manning said, “but I’m not in that position to judge a certain person or speak badly about a person because he may have done something.”
Condemn the action, not the actor, in other words.
Manning said he is “not going to be one to stand up and shame somebody or speak badly about a person until I know exactly all the details, and I still wouldn’t speak badly about a person. That’s not my job. In that, I felt strongly as a society, domestic violence is something we should not accept. Men and people should be treating others better, and I believe in that. But I still don’t think it’s my job to speak directly to a certain person or badly about a certain person.”