By HANNAH GALEONE
A federal lawsuit was filed against the New England Patriots’ wide receiver Antonio Brown on Tuesday, Sept. 10 in the Southern District of Florida. This federal suit accused him of raping Britney Taylor, who Brown met during their time as students at Central Michigan University.
Prior to the filing of the lawsuit, Brown was released from the Oakland Raiders following fines totalling $215,000 for conduct detrimental to the team and failure to attend mandatory practice camps. Brown also got into an altercation with the Oakland Raiders’ general manager, Mike Maycock. Merely hours after his release, Brown signed an alleged one-year deal with the New England Patriots.
The federal lawsuit, filed three days after Brown became a Patriot, states that in three separate instances he sexually assaulted Taylor. Two of these three incidents occurred in June 2017 and the third in May 2018. The lawsuit provides extremely detailed accounts of each instance of alleged assault.
A statement released by Brown’s lawyer claimed that at least one instance of consensual sex was acknowledged between Brown and Taylor. This statement also claims that “any sexual interaction with Mr. Brown was entirely consensual.”
On Sept. 15, it was released that Brown refused to sign a $2 million dollar settlement between himself and Taylor. This monetary agreement would end the sexual assault allegations against him. Brown and Taylor began settlement discussions as early as April and underwent a mediation in May. But Brown did not sign the settlement agreement by the deadline of Sept. 8. This led to the official filing of the lawsuit.
UMW students have reacted to the controversy surrounding Brown’s predicament.
“I don’t think he should play,” said sophomore geography major Lindsay Cooper. “It’s kind of discouraging because it prevents other people from sharing their stories.”
“I do believe it [happened] one-hundred percent,” said undeclared sophomore Jenica Garnett. “It’s scary because you don’t know who you can and cannot believe.”
Students have expressed concerns regarding the portrayal of sports stars in the media and their influence on the public.
“He should not be playing until everything is situated, at least,” said freshman environmental science and geology major, Claire Bradley. “But with the way society puts sports on a pedestal, nothing will happen. He’s a role model for young boys.”
“Other people in the NFL have been accused and they still let it happen,” said Cooper.
During Brown’s debut game with the Patriots against the Miami Dolphins on Sept. 15, he scored a touchdown and earned 56 yards on four receptions — all occurring in the first half of the game. The final score was 43-0, Patriots. But post-game, Brown was nowhere to be found.
After each game, there is a 10-12 minute grace period before members of the media are allowed to enter the locker rooms for interviews, photos and videos. These short few minutes are when Brown had the chance to disappear.
“[He was] out of the locker room, his locker cleared out, and the nameplate [had been] taken down,” said Boston Globe reporter Ben Volin in a post-game Tweet.
Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said he does not know when Brown will speak to the media.