In the midst of controversy, pro footballer Antonio Brown has announced that he will no longer play for the NFL.
Brown, 31, was accused of sexual misconduct by two different women this month, and the former wide receiver for the New England Patriots was released from the team on Friday as the league continues to investigate. Brown has denied the allegations against him, and after thanking his former team “for the opportunity,” he took to Twitter again on Sunday to seemingly suggest his impending retirement.
“Will not be playing in the @NFL anymore,” he wrote, before adding that “these owners can cancel deals do whatever they want at anytime.”
After writing that he hopes the NFL Player’s Association will “hold them accountable,” he stated that it was “sad” that “they can just void guarantees anytime.”
Brown’s tweet seemed to refer to him losing out on millions of dollars from both the Oakland Raiders and the Patriots, ESPN reports. Before Brown signed a multi-million dollar contract with the Patriots, he was with the Raiders, but lost out on a million-dollar signing bonus after he was fined for detrimental conduct, according to the outlet.
Similarly, the Patriots are also planning to rescind the signing bonus Brown was previously awarded, citing a clause that stipulates that players divulge any circumstances that may hinder their future availability, an unnamed source told the outlet.
The Patriots released Brown less than two weeks after the first sexual misconduct allegation against him surfaced. Britney Taylor, a personal trainer and former gymnast, filed a lawsuit on Sept. 10 accusing Brown of sexually assaulting her on multiple occasions in 2017 and 2018, The New York Times reports. Taylor alleged that Brown, in 2017, kissed her without her consent and, on another occasion that year, masturbated in front of her and ejaculated onto her back. She then said that the following year, he “forcibly raped” her and then sent her text messages about it, calling her a “weak bitch,” in one message, according to NBC News.
Through his lawyer, Brown proclaimed his innocence and claimed that the suit was a “money grab” after he opted not to invest in Taylor’s business, according to a public statement issued by attorney Darren Heitner.
However, one week later, Sports Illustrated published a report detailing Brown’s history of alleged bad behavior, and included in that story were the claims of an anonymous artist who alleged that Brown sexually propositioned her on the job. The anonymous woman, who is reportedly in her late 20s, told the outlet that Brown hired her to paint a mural in his home, but on her second day working on the piece, he showed up nude except for a small towel covering his genitals and started to have a conversation with her.
“Unfortunately, I’ve been tried [by men] a lot of times, so I just kept my cool and kept painting,” she said. “After that, it all ended abruptly.”
After that, Brown “ghosted” her, the woman claimed; he paid her for the two days of work, but she was never able to finish the piece.
Brown denied those claims as well, but last week, allegations arose that he’d sent “intimidating” text messages to his second accuser. In a letter to the NFL, the woman’s attorneys claimed that Brown sent her messages, as part of a group text, describing her claims as a “bullsh—t story” and calling her a “super broke girl with a lot of kids.”
The NFL confirmed that it was investigating the claims regarding the text messages, according to an NFL.com report.
An anonymous source close to the league has claimed that, were it not for the text messages, Brown would still be playing for the Patriots, according to ESPN.
Brown stood to pocket $29.125 million from the Raiders and $9 million from the Patriots, according to the outlet. He reportedly plans to file a grievance against the Patriots and will be represented by the NFLPA.
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.