Brand implications of latest allegations against LeSean McCoy

LeSean McCoy has not been charged criminally in connection with an alleged attack on his ex-girlfriend, Delicia Cordon, at his Georgia residence in July.  He has not been disciplined by the NFL and has not missed any time with the Buffalo Bills.  NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported before training camp that unless McCoy’s status with the league changed, the Bills were “expected to treat him like any other player.”  But with new allegations coming to light on Tuesday, it is becoming more difficult for the Bills to treat McCoy like any other player.

Stephanie Maisonet, the mother of McCoy’s son, filed an affidavit yesterday in support of Cordon’s lawsuit against McCoy.  In August, Delicia Cordon filed a lawsuit against Lesean McCoy alleging that he was involved in the July home invasion and attack of Cordon, which resulted in the theft of $133,000 worth of Cordon’s jewelry.  The lawsuit also alleges that Cordon witnessed McCoy be violent with his dog and his son.

Until yesterday, the allegations of abuse were not supported by anything other than Cordon’s word.  In the affidavit, Maisonet alleges that McCoy physically abused their son on several occasions.  “Our son would often come home with bruises in which I would consistently receive outlandish excuses as to where the bruises would come from,” Maisonet said.  In support of the claim that their son “would cry hysterically whenever he had to spend time” with McCoy, Maisonet posted a video to Instagram of their son crying.  Maisonet has since made her Instagram account private.

The affidavit further alleges on the day before the July attack, Maisonet overhead McCoy say of Cordon, “I need to get this bitch out of my house” and that Tamarcus Porter, McCoy’s best friend, informed her that McCoy would be unable to pick up his son as scheduled.  According to Maisonet, this was the first time McCoy ever rescheduled picking up his son.

After the attack, McCoy allegedly contacted Maisonet directly “for the first time in years” and “talked badly about Delicia Cordon.”  McCoy also allegedly suggested that if Maisonet would “help him with this home invasion,” McCoy would “concede” the custody case “by allowing [Maisonet] to enroll her son in school in Miami.”

Perhaps the most interesting part of Maisonet’s affidavit is that she claims to have given her Instagram password to Tamarcus Porter, who “wrote a comment pretending to be [Maisonet]” shortly after the initial allegations against McCoy surfaced.  The Instagram comment stated that the allegations about McCoy abusing their son were “false” and that “Delicia Cordon was trying to ruin him.”  Maisonet now claims she “knew the allegations were true” and that she also “made a report” about McCoy abusing their son before the home invasion and attack on Cordon.

McCoy was quick to deny the allegations yesterday and responded by posting a statement via Twitter and Instagram, including the caption “I LOVE MY BOY!!!”:

The allegations made against me today regarding my relationship with my son are provably false, outrageously inaccurate and offensive. I have a loving and close knit relationship with my son. That young boy is my whole life. With a custody case coming up in November, I can see why these false allegations are surfacing.

Today, Cordon released photographs showing her injuries as a result of the home invasion and attack.

Source: TMZ Sports

The latest allegations against McCoy have a detrimental effect on his personal brand, largely because this is not the first time McCoy has been accused of abuse.  In 2013, McCoy had a public dispute with Maisonet after she accused McCoy of “not being there for his son.”  McCoy replied on Twitter, saying that his followers should “tell her to get a job and stop begging for child support.”

McCoy also has a history of being accused of assault.  In 2013, a woman filed a lawsuit against McCoy after she claimed he and his bodyguard assaulted her and kicked her off his party bus.  In 2016, McCoy was investigated for an alleged assault of an off-duty police officer at a Philadelphia club.

Despite his pious and consistent denials of wrongdoing, McCoy’s credibility is again called into question.  When Cordon filed the lawsuit against McCoy alleging abuse and assault, it was her word against his.  Now that Maisonet has filed an affidavit corroborating Cordon’s account, McCoy is facing an uphill battle both legally and in the court of public opinion.

It is unclear whether the latest allegations will result in any financial ramifications for McCoy.  According to Forbes, McCoy earns a high six-figure income off the field from memorabilia, appearances and endorsement deals with Nike, Zenith helmets and more.  To date, none of those sponsors has withdrawn their endorsement deals with McCoy.  I expect these companies, like the Bills, to allow the NFL’s investigation and the legal process to play out before making a decision as respects McCoy.

McCoy, 30, has one year left on his five year, $40 million contract with the Buffalo Bills that he signed before the 2015 season.  Depending on the source, studies indicate that the age of decline for running backs in the NFL is anywhere from 26 to 30.  McCoy has not been secretive about his desire to reach 12,000 career rushing yards, using the hashtag #12Kchase in his social media posts.  Currently, McCoy stands at 10,153 rushing yards.  To achieve his goal, McCoy would likely need at least two more seasons to reach 12,000.  With only one year remaining on his deal, that means McCoy would need another contract.  Given his age, history and the most recent allegations, McCoy may have a difficult time convincing a team to sign a 31-year-old running back with off the field concerns.

The potential implications of the most recent allegations against LeSean McCoy cannot be overstated.  Law enforcement and the NFL are likely gathering information at the moment to determine if there is sufficient evidence to bring charges or levy punishment against McCoy.  Unfortunately for McCoy, the court of public opinion does not wait for the legal process before making a judgment.

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