Tuesday was a roller coaster of a day for the New England Patriots and their fans. It started with Demaryius Thomas being traded to the New York Jets for a 2021 sixth-round draft pick. This ultimately means that the team was confident in Antonio Brown’s ability to digest the playbook and work his way into the offensive scheme. Beyond that, it also shows how confident Belichick is in his team because he traded Thomas to a division rival. The receiver group without Thomas would be made up of Brown, Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon, Phillip Dorsett, and Gunner Olszewski. N’Keal Harry is also on the injured reserve and Cameron Meredith is on the Physically Unable to Perform list and is eligible to return Week Eight.
The night before AB was set to attend his first practice with the team, some very serious accusations were thrown his way. He was accused of rape and sexual assault on three different occasions by his former classmate and personal trainer. The details of the allegations can be found with a quick google search, but I refuse to recite what was said in the report. There were allegedly three separate instances, two in 2017 and one in 2018.
Shortly after the news broke, Brown’s legal team releases a statement that said Brown denies all claims and even tells a different version of the instances described in the accuser’s report. He also plans to countersue and claims that the accuser is trying to extort money from Brown after he supposedly refused to invest $1.6 million in a business she was trying to start. Shortly after the accusation became a national story, email surfaces that are allegedly from AB to the accuser where he discusses some of the instances and even brags about them. After that became public, someone released what looked like Instagram direct messages between Brown and one of the accusers’ friends who states in the messages that she has audio proof that the accuser is just doing this for money and that someone within the Raiders organization withheld the information.
Now that we’ve reviewed what we know about the story, as a fan of the New England Patriots I’d like to share my thoughts and opinion. I would first like to preface this by saying that in no way would I ever defend anyone who is guilty of these allegations and if Brown is found guilty, he should spend the rest of his life in prison. I do not have any opinion as to whether I think he is guilty or innocent because it is too early to tell. I will say that it would not surprise me if Belichick and Robert Kraft decided to release Brown from the Patriots sometime this week. AB has become synonymous with the word “distraction” among the league and New England took a chance on AB to give him an opportunity to redeem himself and repair his image. Regardless of whether or not he is guilty, this is a huge distraction, and he has not even been a member of the team for a week. The Patriots proved on Sunday night that although he could help the team, he is certainly not needed. I do believe the team was blindsided by this news because they traded away another receiver who could’ve played a part in their offense. It is also strange that so many things about this were released at once. I do not believe that someone within the Oakland Raiders withheld this information because if that is true, the team could and should face serious punishment. All in all, I think New England might be better off if he were released. As much as he could help the team, I think the Patriots should suspend Brown for the time being.
Antonio Brown was in attendance at the Patriots’ practice this morning, so if they plan to release him or suspend him from team activity, it has not happened yet. It’s a shame that NFL fans are basing their conclusions on whether or not they think Brown is guilty regarding how it affects the Patriots moving forward. An accusation of this magnitude goes way beyond the game of football. I hope the justice system is able to find the truth behind this and holds the correct party responsible, whether it’s him if he’s found guilty, or the accuser if she is doing this for money.