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Once again, the NFL has made it clear that it doesn't want Antonio Brown wearing his old helmet this season.
The Oakland Raiders wide receiver lost his second grievance against the league on Sunday, according to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, and will not be allowed to wear his old helmet this season.
Brown’s quest to wear his old Schutt AiR Advantage helmet, the one he’s worn throughout his career, has been lengthy.
The 31-year-old lost his initial grievance against the league earlier this month, and filed another one earlier this week. The 12-year-old helmet he’s attempting to wear, which Schutt doesn’t even make anymore, has since been deemed unsafe by the NFL. The league phased it and several other helmets out this offseason, and informed its players of the plans to do so more than a year ago. The NFL Players Association even joined the league in saying that the helmet is too unsafe for Brown to keep wearing.
The NFL and NFLPA announced last year that there are 24 helmet models that are acceptable for players to wear, all of which are statistically safer for players than Brown’s old helmet. Former Seattle Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin made the switch to an updated VICIS helmet late in his career, which reduced impact forces on the head by 30 to 40 percent compared to old models like Brown’s.
Despite the initial ruling against him, Brown claimed he’s the victim of “Super Prejudice” and even sat out of a Raiders practice because of his helmet. That elicited a very blunt, very public response from Raiders general manager Mike Mayock.
According to Rapoport, no further proceedings about his helmet are expected — which means the never-ending saga should be reaching its conclusion. Barring any other moves, Brown should be wearing a new helmet when the Raiders host the Denver Broncos in Week 1.
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