Whenever an off-the-field incident arises in the NFL, there are concerns about the league's ability to enforce policies and make satisfying decisions. Between suspensions for performance-enhancing substances accidentally ingested to spark pregnancy or several cases of domestic abuse, the NFL has a reputation for being very inconsistent with punishments and coming across as tone-deaf with its messaging. That said, one person has recently been vocal in their support of the league's investigations amid the latest allegations to hit the league.
Late Thursday night, news broke that New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown had allegedly sent intimidating text messages to another of his accusers. Robert Klemko of Sports Illustrated later confirmed that these texts had indeed come from Brown, which potentially played a role in the Patriots releasing him on Friday.
Regardless of the facts surrounding the texts, the lawyers for this accuser viewed the Patriot's roster move as a sign that the league is taking these allegations seriously and sent a statement to SI.
A statement from our source’s lawyers, on the Patriots releasing Antonio Brown: “We are gratified that the NFL recognized that it has an important role to play in policing player conduct that is sexually harassing and threatening.“ pic.twitter.com/BcEgmNio7I— Robert Klemko (@RobertKlemko) September 20, 2019
"The NFL and the Patriots clearly took our client's concerns seriously. She wanted the threats and intimidation to stop and we hope that will be [the] case. The NFL has assured us that regardless of Antonio Brown's roster status, it will continue to investigate all claims regarding his behavior.
"We are gratified that the NFL recognized that it has an important role to play in policing player conduct that is sexually harassing and threatening."
As further evidence that the league is taking these allegations seriously, the NFL released a statement on Friday about the ongoing investigations. In this message, the league revealed that they have no findings yet, but they were in the midst of investigation multiple allegations.
There is still a scenario in which Brown could be placed on the commissioner's exempt list, but that will not happen while he is a free agent. If a team does sign the former Patriots receiver, that move could potentially become an option yet again.
For now, the league will simply continue to focus on investigating the allegations surrounding Brown while deciding if any punishment is in play. Brown, on the other hand, will continue to search for a new opportunity in the NFL that will allow him to recoup some of his lost money.
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