Former NFL wide receiver Antonio Brown is, unfortunately, becoming untouchable. A warrant for his arrest issued by Hollywood Police is but the latest in a string of high-profile incidents. It’s the latest in a winding saga that arguably begins as Brown’s quirky grievances while at training camp with the Oakland Raiders.
Today, those helmet complaints and bizarre cryogenics mishaps seem quaint. These days, Brown is at the center of accusations of sexual assault, sending threatening texts to women, and increasingly common police involvement with domestic situations.
It’s to the point that the disgraced former NFL star has few allies in or outside the game. Even charities are turning down his money. Given the latest drama, it’s not entirely surprising.
Antonio Brown’s latest run-in with police
Every time it seems like Antonio Brown’s troubles are finally out of the news cycle, something newer and sadder always seems to pop up. This week was no exception.
On January 14, Hollywood Police responded to a call accusing Brown and his personal trainer Glen Holt of assault. Apparently the dispute involved moving some of Brown’s personal items from one residence to another.
After leaving open time for Brown to turn himself in, Hollywood Police issued a warrant for his arrest on January 23. Details on why this may have happened are sparse.
Brown refused to cooperate with the police at all. That is likely related to a previous incident with Hollywood Police — the same series of events that had one charity thinking twice about taking money from Brown.
Why the Police Athletic League returned a charitable donation
Just over a week before Brown’s arrest warrant was issued, he had a less dramatic but more highly publicized run-in with Hollywood Police. The police responded to a domestic disturbance call from Brown’s home. They arrived to find an irritable Brown berating his wife in front of their children.
Brown began filming the police, turning his expletive-laced rant towards them. The responding officers declined to escalate the situation, standing mostly silent.
Obviously, it is well within anyone’s rights to film police. While no laws were broken, though, this incident clearly reflects most poorly on Brown. Hollywood Police responded by announcing they would cut ties with the Hollywood Police Athletic League, which Brown donates to.
The HPAL responded quickly. They returned Brown’s contributions and announced they would cut all ties with him. It’s a stark turn of events for an NFL figure once thought of as a beloved clubhouse figure and a jovial presence at press events.
Will Antonio Brown ever play in the NFL again?
Brown’s agent dropped him. He blew up his Patriots opportunity by sending threatening texts to someone who once accused him of sexual assault. He continually generates bad headlines for the NFL. And he’s doing it during the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl.
When the Patriots originally signed Brown, he was mostly seen as a nuisance who may have ulterior motives to get dropped by the Raiders. Today, it’s clear his issues run much deeper. The last team to give him a legitimate look, the New Orleans Saints, quietly moved on.
It’s a tough situation for Brown. Football lacks the international presence of sports like baseball and basketball. There are no Eastern European or Chinese teams with a decent paycheck waiting for him. The CFL tends to put a short leash on troubled ex-NFL stars. And the XFL, despite the name, is going with a wholesome angle this time around.
That leaves Brown with the money he has already made from his NFL days for now. And charitable contributions from said money? Probably not in his near future, either.