Controversy Surrounds the NFL

Mark Rick, Opinion Section Editor

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Antonio Brown, a professional football player, has caused a lot of trouble for the NFL and has been a controversial case through the start of the season. This offseason he was signed to the Oakland Raiders on a $30 million contract, but Brown was upset about the league’s ban on his type of helmet due to safety reasons. He lost his grievances to wear his old helmet and got fined $40,000 for an unexcused absence in training. 

Brown also caused trouble on twitter when he tweeted about his fans and said, “When your own team want to hate.” On September 5, Raiders they would suspend Brown for his actions. The next day Brown issued an apology and it was announced that it was the plan to have him play in their opener. However, Brown was fined by the Raiders for $215,000 for “conduct detrimental to the team.” 

The fine voided Brown’s guaranteed his $29.125 million and Brown said he would not play for the team without his guaranteed money. Brown then asked to be released via Instagram and was released shortly after. Quickly after he was released he signed with the best team in the league, the New England Patriots. Many people were angered by this because he caused locker room troubles for his team, got cut, and then got signed to the best team in the league. It’s as if he’s being rewarded for not being cooperative with the Raiders and having conduct issues.

Shortly after signing with Patriots, his former trainer, Britney Taylor, accused Brown of sexual assault. She filed a civil suit in US District Court in Miami. The suit accused him of three incidents of rape or sexual assault in 2017 and 2018. For many sports fans, this was disappointing to see a superstar athlete, who people look up to commit such a terrible act. 

Cole Baker, a junior at BHS, says, “Although incredibly talented Antonio Brown is frustrating to watch. On the field he gets down; can run every route, catch every pass, do anything you ask of him and is a hard worker. However off the field he’s always got something to say or do that just makes him sound ignorant it’s incredibly irritating.” I agree with Cole because so many people watch the NFL and look up to the players. He’s a great football player he just isn’t the best example for our youth. We don’t want people to look up to Antonio Brown who was very unprofessional with the Raiders and was accused of sexually assaulting a woman. 

All athletes are role models for kids. It’s great that kids have someone to look up. However, if the athletes behave like Antonio Brown, it will set a bad example for younger generations. Professional athletes have a responsibility to set a good example for kids, but we see many athletes do the opposite. 

I don’t think Brown will ever play in the NFL again because teams don’t want the negative press. Also, he would cause problems in the locker room, and no team wants that. In the end, Antonio Brown lost his chance to earn millions of dollars to play football by his actions.