Training camp and the preseason was filled with drama for the Oakland Raiders due to nonstop problems caused by star wide receiver Antonio Brown, who was acquired in a trade with the Pittsburgh Steelers this past offseason.
The marriage between Brown and the Raiders did not last long as he wound up being released this past weekend before the team’s season opener against the Denver Broncos.
Brown has since gone on to sign with the New England Patriots and was expected to make his season debut this weekend in their Week 2 matchup against the Miami Dolphins, although that is now in jeopardy.
According to a report by Ben Shpigel of the New York Times, Brown is now dealing with a lawsuit in which he is being accused of rape by his former trainer:
New England Patriots receiver Antonio Brown has been accused of raping his former trainer, according to a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday in the Southern District of Florida.
The lawsuit says that Brown — in three separate incidents, two in June 2017 and another in May 2018 — sexually assaulted a woman named Britney Taylor, a gymnast whom he met while they were attending Central Michigan together and whom he later hired as a trainer.
According to the lawsuit, Brown sexually assaulted Taylor twice during training sessions in June 2017. First, he exposed himself and kissed her without her permission, the lawsuit says. Later that month, the lawsuit says, while she was watching a television program at his home, Brown started masturbating behind her and ejaculated on her back. Brown bragged about the incident in profane text messages that are copied in the lawsuit.
Taylor ended her working relationship with Brown, the lawsuit says, but several months later, when he contacted her to apologize, she relented. She was, according to the lawsuit, “swayed by his assurance that he would cease any sexual advances.”
Then, the lawsuit says, on May 20, 2018, Brown forced her onto a bed, pushed her face into the mattress and “forcibly” raped her. She tried to resist him, screaming and repeatedly shouting “no” and “stop,” the lawsuit says, but Brown refused and penetrated her.
Brown’s lawyer released a statement denying the allegations, so it does not appear that this is going to end anytime soon:
“Mr. Brown denies each and every allegation in the lawsuit,” said a statement from Darren Heitner, a lawyer representing Brown.
The alleged victim, Britney Taylor, spoke out for the first time and explained why she is going through with the lawsuit right now:
“As a rape victim of Antonio Brown, deciding to speak out has been an incredibly difficult decision,” Taylor said in a statement released by her lawyer. “I have found strength in my faith, my family, and from the accounts of other survivors of sexual assault.”
In the statement, Taylor said she would cooperate with the N.F.L. in an investigation.
It is currently unclear if Brown is guilty or innocent considering there are two sides to every story, but this is obviously a bad look for him and the Patriots organization. It is also unclear if they or the Raiders knew about these allegations before acquiring him.
One thing that is for sure is that the Raiders have to be happy that they don’t have to deal with any of this after all of the drama that Brown already caused them. They didn’t seem to miss him on the field, earning a Week 1 victory over the Broncos on Monday night.