The Latest NFL Scandal: Antonio Brown’s Lawsuit

Kaelin Farley, Staff Writer

Former wide receiver for the New England Patriots, 31-year-old Antonio Brown has been confronted with sexual assault allegations, citing numerous incidents since 2017. 28-year-old Britney Taylor, a former trainer of Brown’s, filed a lawsuit accusing him of rape and misconduct, alleging that Brown made unwanted advancements while she was painting a mural in his home.

Taylor claims that Brown made two sexual advancements on her before she ended the working relationship between them, only for Brown to reach out several months later asking for forgiveness and promised to stop the acts of sexual misconduct. However, Taylor’s report states that Brown again in May of 2018 “forcibly” raped her, with the absence of consent as Taylor screamed “no” and “stop.”

The lawsuit quickly disrupted Brown’s career, resulting in his release from the Patriots and Oakland Raiders just two weeks after being signed to a minimum $9 million deal. Shortly after Taylor’s story reached the front page of Sports Illustrated, Brown is said to have sent threatening texts to Taylor. Brown’s legal team have denied all components of the allegations, with Brown arguing that all advancements made on Taylor were consensual. Brown has made statements denouncing false sexual assault allegations against men, aiming to protect other men from suffering the same circumstances as a result of a false accusation.

Nonetheless, Taylor has agreed to team up with the NFL commissioner to undergo an investigation on the case. Roger Goodell, the head commissioner has the authority to discipline NFL players under the personal conduct policy, which does not depend on the legal proceedings of the case. In reaction to Taylor’s statement, the NFL responded with “Under no circumstance 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.” 

Brown has since been active on social media, tweeting about the ordeal. He has been lobbying for his reinstatement in the NFL, arguing on his Instagram live-stream “[If] you guys follow the Patriots, tell them to call me. They still gotta pay me, so might as well let me earn it.”

The proceedings of the court case have yet to be released, as the lawsuit was filed in Florida State courts this month. The likelihood of Brown’s reinstatement in the NFL is low, as the NFL hired a domestic violence specialist to oversee the rape allegations against NFL players in 2014. The frequency of these allegations against professional football players has increased drastically following the MeToo sexual assault movement, and is hopefully the next step to eradicating sexual misconduct in the workplace.