Antonio Brown Files Grievance Against NFL

Antonio Brown may have reported to Raiders practice today, but the drama is far from over. Pro Football Talk reports (via Twitter) that the star wideout has filed a second grievance against the NFL for their unwillingness to let him wear his desired helmet.’s Ian Rapoport tweets that the grievance will be heard on “an expedited basis.”

Specifically, Brown is upset that the league won’t let him wear any “Schutt AiR Advantage helmet less than 10 years old.” Rapoport tweets that the receiver believes “he should be afforded the same right provided to other NFL players to have a 1-year grace period to phase out his helmet in 2019 season.” Mike Florio of writes that the NFL allowed Patriots quarterback Tom Brady to play last season with a helmet that wasn’t deemed safe.

The 31-year-old’s first grievance against the NFL ended with an arbitrator ruling against the wideout. As our own Zach Links detailed, Brown’s preferred helmet is too old to be re-certified, and this means the helmet is not sanctioned by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment. Brown had previously threatened to retire if the league would not let him wear his preferred headgear.

Brown showed up at the Raiders’ facility Monday morning and was in attendance for the daily team meeting. The wideout has put the Raiders through the ringer in recent weeks. A cryotherapy mishap left the wide receiver with a foot injury, which was believed to have been the cause of his training camp absence. Instead, the no-show was attributed to the helmet dispute.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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45 comments on “Antonio Brown Files Grievance Against NFL

  1. PapiElf

    Can’t he just let it go? Like, 89 other players on the Raiders can play with the regulated helmet but noooo, Antonio has to play with his special helmet. Everyone is tired of this.

    • brewpackbuckbadg

      If the NFL community were not “talking” about this what would they talk about? Preseason games that mean nothing. This is just AB’s way of creating something to talk about? Maybe? The NFL and all sports commentators should thank him for this!

  2. Lefty_Orioles_Fan

    Is Brown nuts?
    He seems to be worried about everything else except playing football! You don’t see Tom Brady doing this and he is a helluva a lot older. Jerry Rice never did this either, not once! SMH

    • Hannibal8us

      Well if you read the article it says Brady was granted a allowance that Brown isn’t. It sounds silly to most people but athletes are insanely superstitious and particular about what they wear. Can’t blame him for trying.

      • rkmarx

        Brown is trying to use the same helmet he wore last year, meaning that he, too, was granted the allowance. Whether it was explicitly stated or not, Brady and Brown both used their own helmets last year and both must wear different ones this year. Don’t try to spin this to make it appear that Brady is being favored (to the author, not the commenter). Other players got the same treatment last year, and then the rule officially went into affect this year.

        • Hannibal8us

          No you’re incorrect, Brady’s was tested last year and was given a grace period to find a new helmet. Brown’s was tested this year and wasn’t given the same grace period, it’s clear favoritism. Now should Brown have seen the writing on the wall and started looking for a solution earlier? Of course but don’t act like Brady didn’t get his normal level of special treatment.

          • pads fan1980

            I hate Brady but to say that Brady’s was tested last year and given a grace period but Browns helmet was not given a grace period after testing does not show faroitism

            • pads fan1980

              Favoritism to me it just goes to show that Brady was probably deemed to be safer than Brown’s helmet is

    • frustratedpittsburghpiratesfan

      Knucklehead.. When does the drama stop. Seems logical that you would want the best equipment to protect you from life changing head injuries. Seems like a lot BS being thrown around this AB helmet stuff.

  3. mhdunbar99

    Antonio Brown egomaniacal lunacy is proving himself ultra qualified to be a future democratic politician!

  4. RockHauler

    It so obvious to me. The real reason he’s making such a big deal over the helmet and not practicing is because his feet area still not where they need to be in the healing process and he’s stalling for time until they are ready. He knows that if he can’t play the Raiders can and probably would deem his injury outside of his contract and not pay him, or demand some money back. All pros have a clause in their contracts that both forbids them from activities that would be dangerous, and a clause if they get hurt in a non approved team activity their contracts can be voided. That’s what he’s worried about.
    Secondly, after all the inroads made for player safety and the CTE problem, would AB be willing to sign off and not hold the club or NFL liable if he suffers a head injury either now or in the future? I think not. In reality go back to the first part of my argument.

    • bklynny67

      Dude. You wasted your time posting this. Lots of athletes have that same treatment

      • jorge78

        And none of them were stupid enough to ignore
        the orders to properly
        cover their feet…..

  5. echozulu88

    Am I reading this situation wrong or was last year also the year for him too to phase out the helmet like Brady? And he wants an extra year because he didn’t know/wasn’t aware?

    • BAINES03

      Actually for some reason the nfl didn’t test his brand of helmet last year so it wasn’t banned. They just banned it. As stupid as this whole situation is… they created it through incompetence.

  6. itslonelyatthetrop

    The amount of $$$ he’s making… he can have a custom model designed to his and the NFL’s specifications. Model AB84. For Pete’s sake…

    • crosseyedlemon

      A custom made helmet for every player would be the logical approach if the NFL were truly serious about head trauma injuries. Unfortunately the manufactures would charge the league considerably more and a unilateral testing procedure would be impossible to implement.

      • letmeclearmythroat74

        That’s laughable. You don’t change everything to make one guy happy. If they did that then he would moan about something else. It’s just a shame that he can’t be thankful for what he has and his opportunity he has and shut up and play.

        • crosseyedlemon

          I don’t think that is the case but it’s certainly something the NFLPA should be pushing for during CBA talks.

  7. jirogers72

    What a baby! Let’s see if Mayock and Gruden will stand up to this jerk. Go play in the CFL!!

  8. markburgh

    And everyone laughed at the steelers for giving him away for a 3 and a 5 its Oakland/Vegas problem now its just beginning

    • captainchaos55

      What makes him any different than every other NFL player. Just shut up and play. You don’t have to worry Burfict is on your team now.

      • frustratedpittsburghpiratesfan

        They probably are “buds” now. I know he has be given a lot of $$$ the last few years from the Steelers and the Raiders. Life changing money. Smoke them if you got them!

  9. Dorothy_Mantooth

    It’s funny how Julio Jones, DeAndre Hopkins, OBJ, etc. have no issues with vision or comfort when wearing one of these new helmets, but AB feels that he can’t play well in one? I’m not sure he’s mentally fit to play in the league…

    • crosseyedlemon

      Brown never said he felt he wouldn’t be productive wearing a new helmet. The underlying issue is about the NFL banning a helmet that wasn’t even tested. Imagine yourself being arbitrarily banned from driving a car without ever being given a test to determine if you would be a safe driver or not.

  10. TJECK109

    So grievance was denied so he files another… is this like going to your mom and being told no and then run to dad and hope he says yes? How many times can you file a grievance?

  11. fungie22

    1696 players in league and they not he has a problem? He’s a diva and not worth the trouble.

  12. Sounds to me like the NFL should relent and give a one time waiver, perhaps in exchange for $100,000 exception fee. For those who cry favourtism (although it looks like Brady did get an exception), you won’t find many players signing up for the $100,000 exception.
    And in this case, Brown has no excuse not to play. Or he can change his helmet if he doesn’t want to pay $100,000.

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