Accusations of sexual assault and rape against Brown came to light in a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday.

By Emily Caron
September 11, 2019

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is reportedly considering placing Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown on the Commissioner's Exempt list after he was accused of sexual assault and rape by his former trainer in a federal lawsuit filed in the Southern District of Florida on Tuesday, according to the Washington Post.

Brown would be ineligible to play for New England if he's placed on the list. NFL sources told the Post that placing Brown on the list is "possible" and something that league leaders will discuss when they meet Wednesday about Brown.

Brown could face punishment by the league under the personal conduct policy, even though no criminal charges have been filed. The policy empowers the NFL to punish a player if it believes after an investigation that disciplinary measures are warranted. Under the personal conduct policy, the league can place a player on paid administrative leave if he is formally charged with a violent crime, which includes the commission of sexual assault, but it also authorizes NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to place a player on the exempt list if he believes following an investigation that a player may have violated the policy in any of the listed ways.

While on paid leave, a player cannot attend games or practice with his team. He is, however, permitted to attend meetings, participate in workouts and undergo medical treatment at his team’s facility until a decision is made about regarding outcome or punishment.

According to the lawsuit, Brown allegedly sexually assaulted and raped a woman named Britney Taylor, a gymnast who Brown met while attending Central Michigan who he later hired as his trainer, in three separate incidents. The lawsuit says Brown sexually assaulted Taylor twice during training sessions in June 2017, exposing himself and kissing her without consent in the first incident. Later that month, Brown "began masturbating near her without her knowledge and ejaculated on her back" and then bragged about the incident in profane emails attached to the lawsuit. It also claims Brown "forced her down onto a bed, pushed her face into the mattress, and forcibly raped her" in 2018.

The league is investigating the allegations but it’s unclear whether a decision about the exempt list will be made this week, before the Patriots are scheduled to play the team's Week 2 contest against the Dolphins on Sunday. If the league opts to put Brown on paid leave, it also would have to decide under what conditions he would be permitted to come off the exempt list.

According to a statement issued by Brown's attorney, Darren Heitner, Brown "denies each and every allegation in the lawsuit" and alleges that he and Taylor were engaged in a "consensual personal relationship" and that any sexual interaction was "entirely consensual."

Heitner described the lawsuit as a "money grab" and added that Brown intends to "aggressively defend himself." He will reportedly countersue Taylor for civil extortion, ESPN's Josina Anderson reported.

The Patriots said they were aware of the lawsuit and take allegations of sexual assault seriously. The team added that there will be no further comments on the incident until the NFL's investigation has concluded.

Brown ended up in New England after a tumultuous offseason in Oakland. Brown, 31, was released by the Raiders on Saturday morning after a series of incidents this summer. The four-time All-Pro previously asked for his release after the Raiders voided $29.125 million in contract guarantees due to conduct detrimental to the team. Brown signed with the Patriots later that day on a one-year deal worth $15 million with an option for the 2020 season.

You May Like

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)