You Don't Have to Root for Ahmad Brooks

We’ve published two pieces so far about Ahmad Brooks and his potential impact on the Packers, and neither of them have addressed a significant point in the decision to bring Brooks aboard, namely his history of legal issues off the field, specifically his violence against women.

To date, Brooks has not faced significant consequences for his actions; even his most recent legal entanglement only resulted in a misdemeanor charge. But it’s still worth mentioning these issues due to both their recurrence and the nature of the violence.

Brooks’ college career ended due to unspecified off the field issues in 2005. Three years later, he was accused of punching a woman in the face, though the charges related to that incident  were dropped.

In 2013, Brooks wasn’t charged after allegedly cracking a teammate over the head with a beer bottle.

Then, in 2015, Brooks allegedly groped a woman while she was unconscious. That same woman was later allegedly raped by Ray McDonald, with whom Brooks played in San Francisco. McDonald was released by the 49ers in connection with that event, and the case against Brooks is still open today.

You can be a fan of the Packers without being a fan of Brooks

I bring these events up not to shame Brooks, who, it should again be mentioned, is innocent in the eyes of the law and is not yet facing charges for his most recent incident. Instead, I’d like to say this:

You are under no obligation to root for Ahmad Brooks just because he is a member of the Packers.

Wanting what’s best for the Packers can seem to put supporters in what could seem like an awkward position. Brooks is no doubt going to be a useful player. The Packers badly needed pass rush help and if he plays true to his past form, Brooks should provide that.

But his performance on the field does not obligate you to support a player whose (alleged) history of violence should be eyebrow raising at the very least. It does not require you to look past his issues or pretend they never happened. You don’t have to put blinders on just because he wears green and gold and you're under no obligation to support every move made by the Green Bay Packers.

We can, and should, be clear headed in support of the Packers. We can want what’s best for the team and still recognize that the players who provide what’s best for the team have a checkered past. Even though Brooks has faced very little in the way of formal charges, the fact that he keeps ending up in situations involving (alleged) violence is at the very least cause for concern. Don’t feel obligated to root for him.