PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jordan Matthews spoke out on the league’s handling of off-field incidents Thursday in light of the recently-released documents in which New York Giants kicker Josh Brown admitted to domestic abuse.
"They always use the words they want to protect the integrity of the game," Matthews said, via NJ.com. "I think it is always looked at as the integrity of the football game. Obviously, if somebody makes a mistake like Lane [Johnson] did, or even if somebody does it intentionally if they might try to do something to get an edge, then yes, that can affect a game. So obviously there are some disciplines that should take place.
"But then when we talk about the integrity of the game, and the shield (the NFL logo) ... you talk about the values that you want to instill in families that actually watch us and look up to us. Then it sends the wrong message that every single time there is an incident with domestic violence or something where there is a physical altercation, especially with a lady ... it never seems like there is a really big punishment handed down.”
Brown was suspended one game earlier this season for violating the league's personal conduct policy following a May 2015 arrest on a misdemeanor domestic violence charge. The Giants announced that Brown will not be travelling to London for this weekend’s game against the Los Angeles Rams. The team and the league will review the recently-released documents in which Brown admitted to domestic abuse.
"I think that the NFL has to take a long, hard look at how they handle situations like this,” said Matthews. “Especially when the facts are there. Now obviously you can't convict somebody until they are proven guilty. That is just the country we live in, and that is a good system. But when you know you have the concrete evidence, and we talk about protecting the shield and protecting the game, then ... you can't continue to have these things happen where guys just get a slap on the wrist. What is that telling our ladies? What is that telling our daughters? Our sisters? Our mothers? Because, heaven forbid, it was one of the guy's who handed down the punishments daughter, mother or sister that it happened to.
"Then they would want to take ever further steps to make sure whoever it was, whether it was Josh Brown or whoever commits the crime, they would want to make sure they learned a lesson. I think they just need to make sure they take a long, hard look at it."