Assault charge dismissed against former Super Bowl MVP

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A misdemeanor assault charge against former Super Bowl MVP Mark Rypien has been dropped.

A judge in Washington state on Friday dismissed the fourth-degree assault charge involving Rypien’s wife, KREM-TV reported .

A report by Spokane Officer Todd Brownlee said Rypien acknowledged hitting her on June 30.

The former Washington Redskins quarterback told police that she covered his eyes as he drove and she got the wind knocked out of her after he pushed her hands away.

Police found her in the grass clutching her stomach and struggling to breathe.

“Did you hit her?” Brownlee asked Mark Rypien, according to the police report.

“Yes, I did,” he replied.

Rypien said in a statement Friday that he does not condone domestic violence and that he wanted to be clear that he did not assault his wife.

“We were having an argument and she put her hands on my face, blocking my view of the road while I was driving,” he said. “I shoved her aside out of actual fear that I might drive our car into a pedestrian, or otherwise cause a collision that could harm others or one of us.”

He said while it has been difficult for them to go through this process so publicly, they are grateful for the result.

Rypien announced last year he believes he has chronic traumatic encephalopathy, caused by repeated concussions while playing in the NFL. Symptoms often include impulse control problems, impaired judgment and aggression. He said Friday that the June incident was not related to CTE.

In 2013, Rypien was a lead plaintiff among 4,500 former football players who won a settlement from the NFL related to CTE.

After the 1991 season, Rypien was the most valuable player of Super Bowl XXVI as the Washington Redskins beat the Buffalo Bills. He played in four games during his last season in the NFL with the Indianapolis Colts in 2001, although he did not play between 1998 and 2000.