Patriots release wide receiver Antonio Brown
NEW ENGLAND — The New England Patriots have released wide receiver Antonio Brown after a second woman accused him of sexual misconduct and after Nike cut ties with Brown.
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick continues to receive — and refuse to answer questions about Brown’s status. Belichick, at the end of his opening address to reporters on Friday, did acknowledge Brown, saying: “I know there are questions about Antonio. We take all the situations with our team very seriously. There are some things that we’re looking into. But I’m not going to have any comment on any of the off-the-field situations or questions on that.”
Brown tweeted on Friday that he appreciated the opportunity the Patriots gave him.
Five minutes later, Brown appeared to be addressing the allegations against him when he tweeted out the quote, “If I’m lying then I’m flying.”
On Monday, Sports Illustrated reported that a woman — an artist hired to paint a mural inside Brown’s home in Pittsburgh — said the athlete appeared behind her on her second day working at the home. She said Brown was naked, holding a small hand towel over his genitals.
Brown’s attorney, Darren Heitner, went to Twitter on Monday to deny the artist’s allegations.
“Antonio Brown has reviewed the sexual misconduct allegations made by an unnamed artist included in a recently published Sports Illustrated article and denies that he ever engaged in such activities,” Heitner wrote. “There will be no further comment at this time.”
Sophia Hanson, a colleague and friend of the unidentified woman who alleged the inappropriate sexual advances, told CNN on Monday that her colleague told her about the alleged incident “immediately after it happened.” Hanson also said that the woman was not planning to pursue charges.
This woman is the second to come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against Brown. In a separate set of allegations, Britney Taylor has filed a lawsuit against Brown, accusing him of rape. No criminal charges have been filed.
Brown “denies each and every allegation in the lawsuit,” Heitner previously said in a statement.
Brown briefly spoke with reporters in the Patriots locker room on Thursday, his first time talking to the media since becoming a member of the team. He did not answer questions about his eligibility or his standing with the league.
“Appreciate that question, but I’m just going to focus on ball and looking forward to getting out there in the home stadium and being with the team,” Brown said.
Brown, playing in his 10th NFL season, signed a multimillion-dollar contract with the New England Patriots this month after being released by the Oakland Raiders. He played his first game with the Patriots last Sunday, scoring a touchdown against the Miami Dolphins.
The Patriots play the New York Jets in Foxborough, Massachusetts, on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.