Wednesday morning, reports surfaced that Oakland Raiders right tackle Trent Brown is being sued for alleged domestic violence in California. This news was met with multiple questions about whether or not he would be allowed to play in upcoming games. Now, the NFL has issued a brief statement on the matter.
According to Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area, the league is aware of the civil lawsuit against Brown, but they did not reveal any further information as to whether or not there would be an investigation into the matter.
“We will review the matter," an NFL spokesperson said.
The Raiders offensive tackle was absent when the team returned to practice on Wednesday, but head coach Jon Gruden said that this was mostly owed to a calf strain. Vic Tafur of The Athletic later reported that Brown was in the rehab pool with defensive end Arden Key and linebacker Marquel Lee.
Gruden did later explain that the Raiders are aware of the lawsuit, but they would not be commenting further on the matter.
"We're aware of it and we're looking into it," Gruden said during his Wednesday press conference. "Not going to say anything else, but we're aware of it."
These alleged incidents, which include reportedly threatening to shoot the plaintiff, would potentially make Brown eligible to be suspended under the league's personal conduct policy. Although any decisions may not happen until the case is handled by the justice system.
According to Josina Anderson of ESPN, the lawyer representing Brown's accuser, Waukeen McCoy, has said that "the next steps are to serve a civil complaint on Trent Brown. He will have 30 days to respond." McCoy also said that the incident in June 2019 occurred in Texas and that a police report was filed. To his knowledge, Brown was not arrested, but the accuser did take photos of her alleged injuries.0comments
The league may opt to wait for the suit to play out prior to making a decision, but there is a scenario in which a separate investigation could take place. If the league finds any reason to punish Brown, they can do so by placing him on the commissioner's exempt list, which would remove him from the field for as long as they see fit.
This exempt list is one that has been discussed frequently in recent months due to the allegations of rape and sexual assault against Antonio Brown. The league is currently investigating the alleged incidents involving the former Oakland Raiders and New England Patriots receiver and could opt to place him on the commissioner's exempt list if he signs a contract with another team.