The NFL appears to operate from a hypocrisy playbook. Free agent Antonio Brown was invited to workout with the New Orleans Saints Friday Morning, as the investigation continues on the wide receiver surrounding the recent sexual assault allegations made against him, according to an ESPN report. Brown posted a photo of his workout waiver with the team on social media, but the upload has since been deleted.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport noted on Twitter that “the NFL has made clear that if someone signs AB, he’s likely headed to the Commissioner’s Exempt list until his investigation is complete.”
Brown is currently being investigated by the NFL under the league’s personal conduct policy following a lawsuit filed by his personal trainer, Britney Taylor, who alleged that he sexually assaulted her on three occasions, according to a report on Sporting News. The former New England Patriots receiver was accused of exploitation, sexual assault and rape.
An artist working at Brown’s home in 2017 also accused him of sexual misconduct.
Brown has denied the allegations made against him.
The NFL released a statement on Sept. 20 indicating that Brown would not be placed on the commissioner’s exempt list while on free agent status. However, the league warned, “If he is signed by a club, such placement may become appropriate at any time depending on the status of the investigation. … Upon the conclusion of the investigation, he may also be subject to discipline if the investigation finds that he has violated the law or league policies.”
It is interesting that Brown is being given a second chance while he is in the midst of a sexual assault investigation that has not yet concluded, but Colin Kaepernick is still out of work for his non-violent protest against systemic oppression.
This is the same Antonio Brown who tweeted on Thursday, “Now days I deal with lawsuits ; you telling me this what it came too ! Taking your panties off that’s how I remember yoouuuuuu!”
The San Francisco 49ers quarterback has been waiting for his chance to return to an NFL field for three years. He has not played a game with the league since 2016.
Yet and still, despite his fight against police brutality, which placed him at the forefront of media criticism and ridicule, he still wanted to play football.
Last month, Kaepernick announced that he was invited to workout at the Atlanta Falcons’ stadium. “I’m just getting word from my representatives that the NFL league office reached out to them about a workout in Atlanta on Saturday. I’ve been in shape and ready for this for 3 years, can’t wait to see the head coaches and GMs on Saturday,” he wrote on Nov. 12.
Kaep shifted the narrative and held his own workout at an Atlanta high school so that the media could attend. At least seven teams attended his workout. Meanwhile, the NFL considered Kaep a “no-show” for changing the venue.
“We are disappointed that Colin did not appear for his workout,” the league said in a statement. “Today’s session was designed to give Colin what he has consistently said he wants, an opportunity to show his football readiness and desire to return to the NFL.”
Kaep’s team released a statement following his workout revealing that the media would not have been able to attend the private session at the Falcons’ facility. Kaep, however, wanted transparency. The NFL also wanted the former NFL player to sign an “unusual liability waiver.”
This seems like a game of picking and choosing more than anything else.
Check out some reactions to Antonio Brown’s workout with the Saints below.