In the end, John Mara relied on the circumstances of the case, the withdrawal of domestic violence charges and gut instincts about doing the right thing in deciding to keep kicker Josh Brown despite Brown’s arrest last year for an incident involving his then-wife.

“A lot of times there’s a tendency to make these cases black and white,” the Giants’ president and co-owner said in his first public remarks since the team’s 37-year-old kicker was suspended one game for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy. “They are very rarely black and white. You very rarely have a Ray Rice video. There are allegations made, you try to sort through the facts, you try to make an informed decision. That’s what we did.”

Mara has a well-earned reputation for doing the right and equitable thing, especially with difficult decisions. That reputation was tested with Brown, mostly because he chose to say nothing until now and allowed the controversy to fester.

He had thought that not talking would be seen as a way not to fan the flames, but silence only exacerbated the tension and left questions about whether the Giants were covering for Brown.

Mara admits he “probably should have (spoken) a couple of days ago.”

He’s right.

I can’t ever remember him ducking an issue and this seemed like an odd time for keeping quiet.

Domestic violence is one of the most serious issues of our time, and the NFL’s recent dealings – and failings – with the matter have been a major source of controversy.

But Mara at least provided clarity about where the organization stands. And while many will continue to question the team’s decision to keep Brown despite knowing about the May 2015 arrest and Molly Brown’s accusations that her husband physically abused her more than 20 times, Mara is willing to stake his reputation and that of his organization on deciding to live with the consequences of his decision.

“This is an organization that always tries to do the right thing,” he said. “Yes, the easiest thing for us to have done would have been to say ‘Let’s find another kicker.’ But I’m trying to be fair to him as well. I think he’s trying to do the right thing and he deserves an opportunity to show he can do that.”

Empty words from an owner trying to cover for the actions of one of his players, all in hopes of gaining a competitive advantage? Many will think that.

But the Giants do have a track record of dealing fairly with players. And for that, Mara, as well as the Tisch family, which co-owns the team, has history and good will on his side.

That said, Mara knows he’s dealing with a sensitive issue and understands the potential fallout with his decision to keep Brown.

Mara also made it clear that Brown’s future with the team will now be a football decision.

“Josh knows what’s expected of him, it’s been made pretty clear,” Mara said. “He’s been a good citizen since he’s been here. He’s had conversations with a number of us in management, including myself, and I’m confident that he’ll continue to conduct himself in a manner that we expect of Josh.”

It’s a big risk for the owner and his organization, but he’s willing to live with the consequences. Especially after ending his ill-advised silence on the matter.