Home / Sports / For Antonio Brown, a Rape Accusation Raises a Question of Privilege in the N.F.L.

For Antonio Brown, a Rape Accusation Raises a Question of Privilege in the N.F.L.

Greater than three.7 million other folks practice the Patriots’ Antonio Brown on Instagram, and an excellent bite of them do, probably, no longer simply because he is likely one of the perfect receivers taking part in the rustic’s most well liked recreation.

Brown, 31, is now ensnared in a maelstrom, with the eye that he attracts as an athlete spotlighting a federal lawsuit that accuses him of sexual attack and rape, whilst additionally bringing extra scrutiny to the N.F.L.’s dealing with of studies of violence towards ladies.

A girl who had labored as Brown’s instructor is the plaintiff within the lawsuit, which was once filed on Tuesday. The lady, a former gymnast named Britney Taylor who met Brown about 10 years in the past once they had been scholars at Central Michigan, described 3 attacks within the court docket submitting, two in June 2017 and every other in Would possibly 2018.

Profane messages from Brown to Taylor are introduced as proof within the lawsuit, which additionally says that after Taylor returned to Brown’s house in South Florida to retrieve some private results at the day after she claims he raped her, she sought after to talk about what had came about and Brown answered that she “made me really feel like an actual rapist.”

Brown has denied the accusations in a statement from his attorney, and on Wednesday his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, mentioned in an interview with ESPN: “I’m advising him to let the reality pop out. I’m advising him to pay attention to soccer. I’m advising him to cooperate with the Patriots, with the N.F.L., with the N.F.L. Gamers Affiliation. Antonio and I each strongly consider that those allegations are very severe. On no account will we condone any form of unlawful habits, misbehavior. None of that came about right here.”

Past due Tuesday evening, the Patriots issued a observation pronouncing that the N.F.L. deliberate to do its personal investigation of the accusations.

The league, after mishandling studies of violence towards ladies up to now, bolstered its private habits coverage in 2014 — when some distinguished avid gamers, together with the operating again Ray Rice, had been charged with abuse or home violence, then later suspended. However enforcement of the coverage stays sophisticated, with the league dishing out punishments that seem inconsistent and suffering to get the cooperation of the ones concerned.

Brown practiced Wednesday with the New England Patriots, who formally signed him on Monday, two days after he was once launched by way of the Oakland Raiders. However he has no longer commented publicly at the allegations, and closing silent — no provocative Instagram tales or elaborately produced movies — should be sapping his strength of mind.

Brown’s skill granted him sure privileges that weren’t prolonged to teammates who didn’t often catch 100 passes or rating 10 touchdowns in step with season. And in addition to any famous person, he has leveraged his awesome manufacturing to his merit and for everybody’s leisure. Whether or not co-starring in a Drake video or flouting fines for yet another instantly memed touchdown celebration, Brown has cultivated a following that strains to see what he can possibly do next.

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