Antonio Brown, the NFL star wide receiver, was released from the New England Patriots just a week and a half after signing for a $15 million one year contract with a $9 million signing bonus. His release followed allegations and a civil lawsuit for raping his formal personal trainer in 2017 and 2018.
Brown had been acquired by the Oakland Raiders in the off season, but released him on Sept. 7 and cut him of $30 million dollars. Brown quit the Raiders due to a dispute with the general manager following Brown’s failure to attend practices and controversy around the NFL’s new helmet rule.
Brown received a letter from the NFL notifying him that he would be fined for failure to attend practices and camps, and Brown went on a twitter rant threatening to retire from the NFL if they didn’t let him wear the helmet that we wanted.
His former personal trainer, Britney Taylor, filed a lawsuit against the 31-year-old for raping her at his Miami home in 2018 and his Pittsburgh home in 2017, according to Reuters.
This is just one of the few assault allegations against Brown. To make matters worse, Brown took to Twitter, lashing out about the NFL’s allegations and how he is going through the same thing Roethlisburger (former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback) went through a decade ago.
“Will not be playing in the @NFL anymore, these owners can cancel deals do whatever they want at anytime we will see if the @NFLPA hold them accountable sad they can just void guarantees anytime going on 40m 2 months will see if they pay up!” Antonio Brown tweeted this the Sunday following his release from the Patriots.
A second unidentified woman came forward with allegations that Brown had sexually assaulted her. It is still unclear as to where Brown is currently standing and if he will be charged with a criminal lawsuit, but the NFL is currently undergoing an investigation into the free agent.
While Brown’s career has been controversial to say the least, it is not surprising that yet another NFL star player is accused.
Ahmad Brooks was accused of misdemeanor sexual battery; Ben Roethlisburger was accused twice of sexual assault; C.J. Spillman was accused twice of sexual assault; and the list goes on to 44 total players in NFL history accused of similar crimes.
These men are superheroes that many sports fans put on pedestals, but behind closed doors, they have committed deeply disturbing crimes.
“The New England Patriots are releasing Antonio Brown, we appreciate the hard work of many people over the past 11 days, but we feel that it is best to move in a different direction at this time,” stated Reuters.
Nowhere in the statement did the NFL address the sexual assault allegations against Brown, as if it isn’t all over the media. It is almost as if they are trying to avoid giving a statement by just brushing off the topic.
Nike also cut ties with the football player. According to the Boston Globe, a Nike representative stated, “Antonio Brown is not a Nike athlete and his business relationship with the company is over.”
While Brown’s career is most likely over, it should still be made clear by these huge corporations that sexual assault is not tolerated.
This is very similar to artists and rappers such as 6ix9ine and XXXTentacion who had sexual assault allegations against them, but are still widely supported.
It is important that corporations make a conscious effort to acknowledge the assault happening from their own players. If this took place, would there be less sexual assaults from NFL players?