Recently, ESPN writer and television contributor Howard Bryant was arrested by police on Saturday in Massachusetts after an alleged domestic dispute with his wife. Bryant was charged with domestic assault and battery, assault and battery on a police officer, and resisting arrest. The initial reports claim that witnesses saw Bryant arguing with his wife and he subsequently choked her. Furthermore, Bryant then struggled with police, allegedly elbowing a policeman in the chest at the scene.
Bryant refutes the arrest, releasing a statement that he is innocent. From USA Today…
“I am so sad today. I am sad today because this attack on me by the Massachusetts State Police and the Buckland Police has made it necessary for me to defend untrue allegations and repair my reputation when one conversation with either Veronique or with me would have diffused the entire situation. Instead, the police chose aggression first over dialogue, threatened to taser me whenever I tried to speak, and all in front of my 6-year-old son. As a result, I have to defend a charge that I attacked both the woman I love and the police when nothing could be further from the truth.”
Bryant’s wife also released a similar statement proclaiming that nothing happened. Furthermore, Bryant’s lawyer claims that race was a factor with the arrest. In that Mass Live interview, Bryant goes on to say that he lost his temper in a public way, but that the police reports are entirely false. So, on one side there are five witnesses and police reports of domestic violence versus Bryant and his wife’s claims of his innocence on the other side. Clearly, judgment will have to be reserved in this case until all the facts are on the table. Nevertheless, Howard Bryant was one of the most respected voices in ESPN the Magazine and on ESPN.com. Seeing his name in this light is nothing but bad news for the leader, even if he’s eventually proven innocent. His name joins Ron Franklin, Steve Phillips, Jay Mariotti, and others representing ESPN who have been in the news for the wrong reasons. Time will tell whether Bryant’s ESPN career withstands these charges.