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GRANT COHN: How will 49ers react to Brooks case?

  • San Francisco 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks (55), linebacker Patrick Willis (52), and defensive tackle Justin Smith (94) sit on the bench during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Denver Broncos in Denver, Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

Dear Jed York,

We understand the population of NFL players is no different from the general population. There are people who do bad things.

One of your players did a bad thing around 2 a.m June 8. Two of your rookies, Lawrence Okoye and Michael Purcell, according to the Sacramento Bee, saw Ahmad Brooks hit your practice squad player, Lamar Divens, with a bottle three times, punch him in the face and threaten to get a gun. Either Okoye or Purcell gave the police a "taped eyewitness statement," according to the San Jose Mercury News.

Brooks, the outside linebacker you gave a $44.5 million contract last year, reportedly had been drinking at San Jose nightclubs with Divens, Okoye and Purcell, and Brooks was too drunk to drive. So, Divens, the designated driver, drove Brooks home, like a good teammate. Okoye and Purcell were in the backseat. When they arrived, Divens pretended to throw Brooks' keys into bushes before handing them over to the star linebacker. Brooks apparently couldn't take a joke, so he allegedly assaulted and threatened Divens.

Divens had to get three stitches. He initially wanted to press charges, but has informed the police he and Brooks have resolved the issue and Divens wants to drop it.

What are you going to do about this, Jed?

Brooks would face a four-year maximum prison sentence if he were charged and convicted of felony assault. Former Raiders coach Randy Hanson recently was sentenced to 120 days in jail for hitting someone once in the nose with a bottle. Brooks supposedly hit Divens with a bottle three times and punched him and threatened gun violence.

You can understand teammates getting into fights. The Oakland A's used to fight in the '70s. In a way, fights can bring teammates closer together. But when someone uses a weapon, that's not a fight. That's an assault.

There's a chance the Santa Clara County District Attorney will not charge Brooks, and there's a chance Brooks will serve no jail time.

If that happens, would you allow him back on your team? Would you keep his name on the back of your jersey?


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