New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown was named in a lawsuit accusing him of sexual assault and rape late Tuesday night. The lawsuit was filed by the controversial receiver’s former trainer and detailed three different incidents.
After news surfaced, people were wondering whether the Patriots had any knowledge of the pending lawsuit when they made the decision to sign Brown as a free agent after his release from the Oakland Raiders.
According to the New York Times, a Patriots spokesman said that the team was unaware of the allegations.
Brown’s legal team, meanwhile, issued a statement denying the reports.
Brown claims there was a “consensual personal relationship” and that he will “pursue all legal remedies to not only clear his name, but to also protect other professional athletes against false accusations.”
However, with the severity of the allegations, it is possible that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell decides to place the receiver on the commissioner’s exempt list while the league looks into the lawsuit. So for now, the Patriots will have to wonder when their new star receiver will make his debut with the team.
It’s just the latest unflattering headline for the wide receiver.
Brown forced his way out of Oakland after a preseason filled with absurd drama stemming from the wide receiver’s frost-bitten feet to threatening to retire over an issue with his league-approved helmet. The Raiders acquired Brown in the offseason via a trade with the Pittsburgh Steelers but they ultimately decided the headaches weren’t worth it.
Now, Brown is a member of the New England Patriots where he will look to improve his image.
Throughout his career in the NFL, Brown has hauled in 837 catches for 11,207 yards and 74 touchdowns. Last season, Brown recorded 104 catches for 1,297 yards and 15 touchdowns. In each of the last 6 seasons, Brown has recorded at least 100 catches and 1,000 yards. The Patriots opened the season with a blowout win over Brown’s former team, the Steelers.
Up next for the New England Patriots after their 33-3 win is a meeting with the AFC East rival Miami Dolphins, who suffered a 59-10 shellacking in Week 1 courtesy of Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens.