NFL star receiver Antonio Brown has been hit with a lawsuit that accuses him of rape and there's a chance he won't be on the field for the foreseeable future. According to Mark Maske of the Washington Post (via Pro Football Talk), the NFL will "give serious consideration" to putting Brown on the Commissioner-Exempt list. It's something the NFL will look into the next few days, but it's unclear if the league will have a decision made before the New England Patriots' Week Two game against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday afternoon.
Britney Taylor, Brown's former trainer, is the one accusing the star wide receiver of sexual assault. In the lawsuit, Taylor claims that Brown assaulted her on three separate occasions. The two originally met when they were both attending Central Michigan University. Recently, Taylor claimed she passed a lie detector test concerning the assault allegations and ESPN reported that Taylor, who is getting married, is willing and planning to meet with the NFL next week.
Brown's attorneys have released a statement which says he's innocent of the allegations.
"Mr. Brown denies each and every allegation in the lawsuit. He will pursue all legal remedies to not only clear his name, but to also protect other professional athletes against false accusations," the statement said. "Mr. Brown was approached by his accuser in 2017, shortly after Mr. Brown signed a contract making him the highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL.
"At that time, Mr. Brown was asked to invest $1.6 million dollars in the accuser's business project.Mr. Brown was not informed by his accuser that she had just been levied with a $30,000 IRS tax lien or that $300,000 of the $1.6 million so-called "investment" was to be used to purchase property already owned by the accuser and her mother.
"When Mr. Brown refused to make the $1.6 million "investment," the accuser supposedly cut off communications with Mr. Brown. However, in 2018, the accuser resurfaced and offered to travel to Pennsylvania and South Florida to train Mr. Brown for the upcoming season.
"Thereafter, the accuser engaged Mr. Brown in a consensual personal relationship. Any sexual interaction with Mr. Brown was entirely consensual."
When the Patriots heard the news, they released their own statement.
"We are aware of the civil lawsuit that was filed earlier today against Antonio Brown, as well as the response by Antonio's representatives," the Patriots said on Tuesday night via ESPN. "We take these allegations very seriously. Under no circumstances does this organization condone sexual violence or assault. The league has informed us that they will be investigating. We will have no further comment while that investigation takes place."