I will never pretend to be a sports expert, but I love a good Pats game as much as the next guy.
What I don’t love is how the NFL prioritizes players’ stats over their criminal history.
Antonio Brown was released from the New England Patriots just 11 days after he signed with the Super Bowl champs. This was amid multiple sexual misconduct allegations.
Brown is currently accused of sexually harassing and exposing almost his whole body to a woman who was working at his house in 2017. This woman also reported that he sent her “intimidating text messages.” according to npr.org.
In addition, Brown’s former trainer has accused him of sexual assault in two instances in 2017 and rape in 2018, according to npr.org.
A quick Google search will give you all the disappointing details, but they will probably be overshadowed by Brown’s career achievements and his short run with our beloved Patriots.
Of course, I realize that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Maybe the algorithm behind my Google search is programmed to bring up football first. I understand there are different factors that go into this.
My point is that I heard more people say, “the Pats already released Antonio Brown” than “Antonio Brown has been accused of sexual misconduct.” And the former was said with more surprise.
The NFL has a history of employing offenders of violence and sexual assault.
A Washington Post article written by Mark Maske published on Sept. 23 suggests that Brown’s football career may not be completely over.
The article reported that Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, had spoken to multiple NFL teams about the possibility of him playing for them in the future.
The same article said it is likely that Brown will play in the NFL again, just after these allegations are taken care of.
Unfortunately, Brown wouldn’t be the only player to continue playing after sexual assault allegations.
In 2010, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was accused of sexually assaulting a 20-year-old girl at a nightclub in Georgia. The charges were eventually dropped after inconclusive DNA testing, according to nfl.com.
Again, I know an accusation does not mean someone is automatically guilty.
I do think it is important to keep in mind that less than 10% of rape allegations are false, according to BBC.com.
According to rainn.org, one out of every six women have been victims of rape or attempted rape, and every 73 seconds someone is sexually assaulted in America.
This is unacceptable.
It seems that most times there is a scandal regarding a high-profile athlete, it is covered for a hot minute in the news and then it’s on to the next game.
We need to do better.
On Sept. 22, Antonio Brown tweeted that he “will not be playing with the @NFL anymore.”
He might be done with football, but I’m done with players’ athletic history overshadowing their criminal one.