Pats Likely Weren’t Blindsided by Antonio Brown Rape Allegation [OPINION]
New Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown, a bona fide NFL superstar, was signed on Tuesday – but the celebration didn't last long. Hours later, Brown was accused by his former trainer Britney Taylor of rape. Taylor filed a civil lawsuit in Florida.
While these matters are obviously delicate, serious and life-altering, people should get as many facts as they should before weighing in. This includes the NFL Commissioner's office.
Taylor claims that she first met Brown at a Fellowship of Christian Athletes meeting at Central Michigan University in 2010. She was a freshman there and Brown was already an established NFL prospect playing for their football team.
In 2017, Brown had reached out to Taylor, a professional trainer, to work on his flexibility, fast-twitch muscles and his ankles, according to the suit.
She claims that he misinterpreted their relationship and became sexually aggressive. We'll spare you the graphic details here, but you can read them for yourself. She claims their relationship was never sexual.
Brown's attorney claims that Taylor and Brown had engaged in consensual sex over a long period of time between 2017 and 2018 and that she was close to convincing him to invest $1.6 million in her business that she owned with her mom, Taylor'd Gymnastics Training Center, until Brown acquired more information about where his money was going.
Brown's defense said that it was shortly after he was signed by Pittsburgh in 2017 as the highest-paid wideout in the NFL when Taylor asked for his investment. Brown then discovered that his "investment" was going toward a $30,000 tax lien that Taylor and her mom owed and another $300,000 was going to pay for property already owned by Taylor. That's when Brown's attorney said he backed out of the venture, leaving Taylor incensed, as she was counting on the money at that point.
It appears in these recently released videos links that Taylor was comfortable enough to bring in to question the true nature of their relationship and whether or not it actually included a sexual one.
Rape victims have many reasons why they do not step forward right away, so reserve judgment on the timing of her complaint for now. That said, neither Pittsburgh's Department of Public Safety nor Miami police and their Special Victims Bureau have any record of a complaint.
Rape plaintiffs deserve to be heard and taken seriously enough to compel a thorough police investigation. Defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
To this licensed investigator, if Brown can prove everything his attorneys allege, he should be on the field Sunday and remain there if this incident is the deciding factor. The NFL has incredible resources to verify Brown's claims and should feel obligated to do this as quickly as possible before they decide on things like a suspension or expulsion from the league.
I was discussing this subject with Chris McCarthy yesterday and he said something that stuck with me until I analyzed the remark in a deep dive. Chris said, "Wow if this is true, it looks like the Patriots lost their fastball signing him with this looming in the background."
He was referring to their professional, hired investigators who look into the players' pasts and lifestyles before signing them.
Have they lost their fastball, though? Is it possible that this was discovered by the team prior to Brown's signing? Antonio Brown stands to make really decent money by NFL standards but very good money if he meets certain benchmarks. He stands to get $1.5 million for reaching 1,298 yards, $1.5 million for catching 16 touchdowns and another $1.5 million for 105 receptions.
If the team anticipated a possible or likely suspension, Brown would be paid a better than mediocre $9 million but upwards of $15 million if he has that All-Pro kind of year. It will be very tough to do that if his season is shortened to 11 games or less.
This franchise has shown an omnipresent knowledge over the last 20 years with owner Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick at the helm. Is it possible that they were aware of Taylor's imminent lawsuit and looked into the risk/reward outcome correctly?
In Bill we trust.
Ken Pittman is the host of The Ken Pittman Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. Contact him at ken.pittman@