To the shock of many, Patriots huge receiver Antonio Brown suited up for his new staff’s sport towards the Dolphins on Sunday although he was accused of exploitation, sexual assault and rape in a civil lawsuit filed Tuesday.
Which begs the query: Why would the NFL permit a participant with such severe accusations hooked up to him be on the sphere earlier than the matter is addressed through a league investigation? The easy reply: As a result of, at this level, the NFL does not know what else to do, and the Patriots are letting the league act first on Brown.
The plaintiff within the lawsuit towards Brown, 28-year-old Britney Taylor, alleges the 31-year-old receiver sexually assaulted her on three events in 2017 and 2018, with the third incident escalating to rape. However as a result of it is a civil lawsuit, and since Brown just isn’t going through felony prices associated to the incident, the character of the case is such that it is merely Taylor‘s phrase towards Brown’s, who has denied the allegations.
MORE: What to know in regards to the lawsuit towards Antonio Brown
In flip, the NFL and the Patriots are also working solely on one individual’s phrase vs. one other individual’s phrase. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has the ability to position Brown on the exempt record, which primarily would put the receiver on paid go away and hold him off the sphere whereas the league investigates the accusations.
At this level within the NFL’s investigation, although, Goodell apparently doesn’t really feel like he has sufficient proof towards Brown to assist such a transfer.
Goodell can place Brown on the exempt record at any level, and the NFL reportedly is scheduled to satisfy with Taylor on Monday as a part of its investigation. It is potential that Goodell feels he wants to satisfy with Taylor earlier than he can warrant placing Brown on the exempt record although the commissioner can place Brown on the record if “an investigation leads the commissioner to believe that a player may have violated” the league’s private conduct coverage.
Goodell doesn’t must see felony prices or a conviction to position a participant on the record.
Whereas Goodell beforehand has positioned gamers below investigation for felony acts on the exempt record, it has by no means been used for a participant who’s the topic of a civil swimsuit.
As for Brown’s enjoying standing transferring ahead this season, a placement on the commissioner exempt record can be indefinite. An investigation might final months or longer. If the NFL on the conclusion of that investigation decides Brown violated the coverage through “sexual assault involving physical force,” the minimal suspension is six video games with out pay.
For now, the Patriots are taking a “wait and see” strategy, permitting the NFL to make the primary transfer in terms of potential disciplinary actions for Brown.