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Two days after parting with his third team in six months, Antonio Brown declared himself to be “finished with the NFL” in a Sunday morning tweet, while calling out New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
The talented wide receiver was released by the Patriots on Friday amid an investigation into rape and sexual assault accusations, but found a way to make waves ahead of the NFL’s Week 3 Sunday game.
In addition to his announcement, Brown fired off scorched-earth tweets, seeing a double standard at play, about Kraft, who has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges of soliciting a prostitute last winter, and others who have been accused of sexual assault, including his former quarterback in Pittsburgh, Roethlisberger, and Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe.
“Will not be playing in the @NFL anymore,” he tweeted, “these owners can cancel deals do whatever they want at anytime we will see if the @NFLPA hold them accountable sad they can just void guarantees anytime going on 40m 2 months will see if they pay up !”
Since March, when he was traded by the Steelers, he has also been cut by the Oakland Raiders. His stint with Kraft’s Patriots lasted just 11 days and one game. Although he played in Week 2 after the filing of a lawsuit alleging rape and sexual assault in 2017 and 2018, he was cut after a Sports Illustrated report last week that he had allegedly threatened a second victim. Brown has not been arrested and he denies the allegations.
“Kraft got caught in the parlor AB speculations fired different strokes different folks clearly,” he tweeted.
In response to his Patriots ouster, he will file a grievance, according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, to get the $10 million guaranteed by New England. The NFL Players Association will represent him. However, personal misconduct can void guarantees, something contained in contracts in all sports leagues. His tweet about the Patriots owner isn’t going to engender any goodwill with Kraft.
Brown called out Roethlisberger, noting that he was suspended in 2010 for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy after being accused of sexually assaulting a Georgia college student following a night of drinking. He was the first player suspended under the NFL’s personal conduct policy who was not arrested, charged with or convicted of a crime.
“4 games for Big Ben,” he tweeted, “crazy world I’m done with it.”
Sharpe, the Hall of Famer who appears on FS1 and formerly appeared on CBS, was accused sexual assault and making threats by a former girlfriend in 2010. The charges were dismissed, but that report did not escape Brown, either.
Brown continued with another tweet, sharing a link to a Daily Beast story about Sports Illustrated writer Robert Klemko allegedly being threatened by Patriots fans after he reported the second allegation, the one that led to Brown’s release. “System working effectively,” he noted.
If you or someone you know needs resources or support related to sexual violence, contact the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault’s 24/7 hotline at 800-871-7741.