Tim Hasselbeck did his weekly spot with WEEI’s Kirk Minihane and Gerry Callahan this morning, and the interview was a very awkward exchange. From the outset, the hosts were questioning the ESPN NFL analyst about his brother Matt’s alleged relationship with former Giants kicker Josh Brown.
In police documents — which were reported on by the New York Daily News in August, and also discussed in Slate and USA Today this month — Brown’s ex-wife Molly indicated that she “consulted” Matt Hasselbeck and his wife Sarah about the pattern of alleged domestic abuse.
Matt Hasselbeck, through an ESPN spokesman, “politely declined” to comment for USA Today’s story. The Big Lead reached out to ESPN for comment last week and received the same response.
In the WEEI interview, Tim Hasselbeck responded to questions about those reports by saying, “If you think that’s true, then that’s part of the problem.” He acknowledged that Matt owns a vacation home in central Washington, on the same street where Josh and Molly lived.
When Callahan asked Tim Hasselbeck to speak on why the NFL would have suspended Josh Brown for one game instead of the six under the league’s domestic violence policy, the ESPN analyst said, speaking about the stories about his brother, “You guys just brought up something that is factually incorrect but is being perceived as true, and so I would think that that has something to do with it.”
The segment got awkward as Minihane and Callahan kept pressing him further and further, and even though it was audio you could visualize Hasselbeck trying to gather his words so he could voice his thoughts in a way that wouldn’t later blow up on him. It is unclear whether he accomplished that. The league’s general policies were discussed. Hasselbeck brought up players who have been falsely accused, as well as Brown’s statement that he had never “struck” Molly, and the WEEI hosts brought up the Josh Brown journal entries admitting to abuse that reignited the story this month.
At the 13:30 mark, Minihane said, “It sounds to me, Tim, like you don’t think Molly Brown is telling the truth, and you’re sort of dancing around it. Is that fair to say?”
Said Hasselbeck: “All I’m saying is, if there’s something that’s been said that isn’t true, then how do you believe it?”
Minihane: “Do you think she’s lying?”
Hasselbeck: “Listen, I don’t know every part of their situation, but I know that that claim about relating to my brother is completely false.”
We have reached out to ESPN to see if Matt Hasselbeck has further comment now that this interview has aired, and will update if they send a response.