Brianna Dooley, Guest Writer
Antonio Brown is one of the NFL’s best wide receivers to date. But in recent weeks Brown has been just as controversial as he is successful. Brown went from signing a $15 million contract with the New England Patriots, after being released by the Oakland Raiders, to having an alleged rape case on his hands.
What’s the Drama?
In early August, Brown threatened to retire from the NFL because they demanded that he get rid of his Schutt Air Advantage helmet, which is against the NFL’s new safety rules. He then filed grievances against the NFL hoping they would allow him to wear his helmet, but they were both denied. Brown was forced to get a new helmet that followed the NFL’s new safety rules.
Though Brown signed a 5-year contract in 2017 to make him the highest paid WR, Brown was traded from the Pittsburgh Steelers this March after being apart of the Steelers organization for almost nine years. Brown had a reported dispute with Steeler’s quarterback Ben Roethlisberger which fueled the fire for this trade. This was not the last time Brown had a dispute with someone within his organization.
Why did he Leave the Raiders so Soon?
Raiders General Manager Mike Mayock sent Brown a letter saying that he was receiving two fines totaling in $53,950 because he missed training camp on Aug. 18 and a practice walkthrough on Aug. 22. Brown was upset about these consequences to say the least, so he posted a picture of the letter on his social media stating “When your own team want to hate but there’s no stopping me now devil is a lie. Everyone got to pay this year so we clear.”
Later, after a conversation with Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden, Brown released a YouTube video of the conversation between him and Gruden, and in the caption, Brown asked the Raiders to “Free me!” Brown was fined $215,000 one day later for conduct detrimental to the team, which voided $29.125 million worth of guaranteed money in his deal, ESPN reported. He was then released by the Raiders and later announced on Twitter that he was signing with the Patriots.
What about the Allegations?
Brown’s former trainer, Britney Taylor, filed a civil lawsuit against the star WR, claiming that Brown sexually assaulted her twice during training sessions in June 2017. This was not Taylor’s only allegation against Brown. Taylor also accused Brown of raping her in May 2018. The Times, citing the lawsuit, reported that Brown allegedly apologized to Taylor after gloating over the first two incidents in messages to her.
Brown’s attorney released a statement denying each allegation and said Brown would “pursue all legal remedies” to clear his name and “protect other professional athletes against false accusations.”
Social media is not too happy about these allegations that Taylor made against Brown. Videos surfaced on Twitter of Taylor and Brown acting very friendly with each other, as if they were more than friends. Some people even began to question if they had a secret relationship this whole time and the whole situation is now blowing up in Brown’s face.
What Does This Mean For the Patriots?
As far as the Patriots are concerned, Brown will not miss any games. According to TMZ Sports, Super Bowl Champ Deion Branch says the team will not let Brown’s allegations derail the team from their main goal. “It’s tough, especially when you hear things of that nature,” Branch says, “The most important thing is just for you to carry out your assignment, do your job while you’re there.”