Antonio Brown has been accused of sexually assaulting his former trainer, according to a lawsuit that was filed on Tuesday in the Southern District of Florida.
The lawsuit states that Brown sexually forced himself onto 28-year-old Britney Taylor twice in June 2017 and again in May 2018. Taylor is a former collegiate gymnast that met Brown while the two attended Central Michigan.
Brown’s attorneys denied all accusations through a lengthy statement and added: “Antonio Brown will leave no stone unturned and will aggressively defend himself, including exercising all of his rights in countersuits.”
Brown, who recently signed with the New England Patriots, did not play in Week 1 of the NFL season and his status for the foreseeable future is now in question with the lawsuit and likely NFL investigation looming.
You can read the full lawsuit here.
Antonio Brown Week 2 Status: Commissioner’s Exempt List a Possibility
ESPN’s NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported that the Patriots were caught off guard by the latest developments involving Brown and stated he could be placed on the commissioner’s exempt list.
Here are more details from Schefter on that possibility:
The Patriots were caught by surprise, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter, and the team will have to decide how to proceed with Brown, who was scheduled for his first practice with New England on Wednesday. One possibility is that Roger Goodell will place Brown on the commissioner’s exempt list, sources said, which would mean Brown will not be counted on the Patriots’ active list while the league investigates the allegations.
The Patriots released a statement late Tuesday regarding the allegations Brown is facing.
“We are aware of the civil lawsuit that was filed earlier today against Antonio Brown, as well as the response by Antonio’s representatives. We take these allegations very seriously. Under no circumstances does this organization condone sexual violence or assault. The league has informed us that they will be investigating. We will have no further comment while that investigation takes place.”
While there is still much to sort out with the lawsuit Brown faces, this is what the NFL’s personal conduct policy states. Specifically, the league’s policy on the violations the Patriots wide receiver is currently accused of.
Violations involving assault, battery, domestic violence or sexual assault will result in a baseline six-game suspension without pay, with more if aggravating factors are present, such as the use of a weapon or a crime against a child. A second offense will result in banishment from the NFL.
This is a description of what the exempt list is used for from the NFL Player Personnel Policy Manual, via NFL.com:
The Exempt List is a special player status available to clubs only in unusual circumstances. The List includes those players who have been declared by the Commissioner to be temporarily exempt from counting within the Active List limit. Only the Commissioner has the authority to place a player on the Exempt List; clubs have no such authority, and no exemption, regardless of circumstances, is automatic. The Commissioner also has the authority to determine in advance whether a player’s time on the Exempt List will be finite or will continue until the Commissioner deems the exemption should be lifted and the player returned to the Active List.
Recent notable players to be placed on the list include Kareem Hunt, Michael Vick, Adrian Peterson and Greg Hardy.
Antonio Brown Status: Timeline of Recent Events
It was a long and winding road for Brown to end up in New England and it was speculated to some extent that after the debacle in Oakland that it would be hard for the former All-Pro to find another job in the NFL.
That was not the case, as just hours after his release the Patriots came in and swept him up with a one-year contract with a $9 million signing bonus. He could reportedly earn up to $15 million this season and the Patriots sweetened the deal with a $20 million option for 2020, according to ESPN.
Here is a timeline of recent events involving Brown.
- March 13: Brown was traded from the Steelers to the Raiders for draft picks. He quickly signed a three-year, $30.125 million extension.
- July 25: Brown shows up for training camp but can’t participate because he has frostbite on the bottom his feet that was caused by cryotherapy.
- July 30: News surfaces about Brown’s problem with the NFL’s new helmet guidelines, leading to him filing a grievance he eventually loses. Reports surface that Brown would quit football if he doesn’t get his way.
- Aug. 18: The Raiders fine Brown for an unexpected absence. GM Mike Mayock says Brown has to be “all-in, or all-out” with the Raiders.
- Sept. 4: Brown gets on Instagram and speaks on the fines he received from the Raiders. At practice, he gets into a heated confrontation with Mayock, allegedly calling him a “cracker.”
- Sept. 5: Reports begin to surface that the Raiders are going to suspend Brown for Week 1. Mayock gives a very short statement, saying: “I don’t have any more information for you right now, and when I have some and it becomes appropriate, you guys all get it. I promise you. But that’s it for today.”
- Sept. 6: Brown returns to the Raiders facility, gives a tearful apology to his teammates and all seems back on track for him to play in Week 1. However, that night Brown posts a dramatic video of his phone call with head coach Jon Gruden.
- Sept. 7: The Raiders fine Brown more than $215,000 for conduct detrimental to the team. With the move, ESPN reported that the Raiders voided Brown’s $29.125 million worth of guaranteed money. Brown says there is “no way” he plays after losing the guarantees. Brown asks for his release via Instagram and is shortly granted his wish. Quickly after, the Patriots sign Brown to a one-year deal worth up $15 million with a $9 million signing bonus.
- Sept. 10: On the eve of his first practice with the Patriots, Brown is accused of sexually assaulting his former trainer.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.
Source: New feed