New England Patriots receiver Antonio Brown had no interest in talking after his game with the team. Brown left the stadium right after the Patriots’ 43-0 win over the Miami Dolphins, avoiding questions from reporters, according to Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports Boston.
The 31-year-old Brown had a productive debut game with the Patriots. Brown hauled in four passes for 56 yards and a touchdown despite having his first practice with the team Wednesday.
Some wondered whether Brown should have been out there at all. Two days after signing with the Patriots, Brown was accused of sexual assault and rape. The NFL is investigating the situation. The league did not place Brown on the commissioner’s exempt list — like it did with Adrian Peterson and Reuben Foster. The Patriots didn’t punish Brown either, allowing him to play Sunday.
Given the investigation, Brown may not have wanted to face the media following his first game. By avoiding reporters, however, Brown broke the NFL media access policy.
The policy states the following:
Players must be available to the media following every game and regularly during the practice week as required under league rules and their contracts and as noted above. It is not permissible for any player or any group of players to boycott the media. Players with unusually heavy media demands must be available to the media that regularly cover their teams at least once during the practice week in addition to their required post-game media availability. This applies to a maximum of one or two players per team only. The minimum for such players does not include other required media obligations such as network production meetings and national media interviews arranged by the team.
While Brown did not speak to reporters, head coach Bill Belichick gave his usual gruff responses when addressing Brown’s impact on the game.
— Patriots on NBCSB (@NBCSPatriots) September 15, 2019
That’s the same approach Belichick took regarding Brown on Wednesday. He confirmed Brown would practice, and then quickly changed the subject to the Patriots’ matchup with the Dolphins saying, “I’m done with that,” referring to fielding questions about Brown.
As much as Belichick, Brown and the Patriots want to avoid the situation right now, they may not have a choice soon. Brown’s accuser will meet with the NFL on Monday. That will invite only more questions.
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