Former New York Giants kicker Josh Brown appeared on Good Morning America Thursday morning for his first full interview regarding the domestic violence allegations—that Brown himself has admitted to—that caused him to lose his job as an NFL place kicker.
In the interview, Brown admits to abusing his then-wife, Molly Brown, and says that domestic violence is not limited to hitting and choking. Brown’s motivation for participating in the interview is pretty easy to spot. For him, it’s an opportunity to present himself as a chastened and reformed man who deserves another shot in the NFL. Just yesterday—as Brown also noted in the interview—Commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters the league’s investigation into Josh Brown is still ongoing.
ABC published a short clip of the interview on its website, notably using the most remorseful segment of the sit-down. Brown tells reporter Paula Faris, “The world now thinks that I beat my wife, and I have never hit this woman. I never hit her. Not once.”
“She claims you were physically violent on more than 20 occasions,” Faris says.
“I dispute it. I absolutely dispute it.”
Brown also disputes Molly’s account of what happened in May 2015, when she told police that Brown had grabbed her by the wrist during an argument. (Brown was never charged, though that arrest becoming public led to the revelation of multiple allegations of abuse previously.)
Though Brown disputes the event in question and the frequency with which Molly says he abused her, he admits to engaging in some forms of abuse against his wife.
“I mean, I had put my hands on her. I kicked the chair, I held her down. The holding down was the worst moment in our marriage. I never hit her, I never slapped her, I never choked her, I never did those types of things,” he says.
Brown also offers his now-nuanced perspective on abuse: “Domestic violence is not just physical abuse. We’re talking intimidation and threats; the attempt to control, body language. An abuser is going to abuse to a certain degree to acquire some kind of reaction.”
In October, journals belonging to Brown were made public due to Molly turning them over to investigators. In the journals, Brown wrote: “I have abused my wife.” In those journals, Brown appeared to have been struggling with the mentality he had when he was abusive to his wife, and the mentality he was working on in therapy. How credible that therapy was, though, is disputable.
Brown, understandably, wishes his journals had never become public. “The fact that my private things are being used against me, that’s hard to swallow,” he says. “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 I’ll be punished for trying to correct the things in my life that needed to be changed.”
Brown ends the interview talking about football, and circling around a plea for another opportunity in the NFL. “I want to be able to play again. I want to be able to continue to write this story, continue to be a voice for change,” he says.
“Is there any room for second, third chances in the NFL?” Faris asks. (The answer to this question typically lies in a player’s on-the-field ability at the time of the incident.)
“We’ll see,” Brown says. “If it doesn’t happen, I’m fine.”
Faris reports investigators from the league will be flying to Seattle next week to interview Brown as part of the league’s ongoing investigation.