get over it.
This was the message Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown tried to convey last week.
The past does not matter, he used to say. With the Super Bowl upon us, the only concern should be about his ability to catch the pass on Sunday.
Brown’s favorite talking point was his love for quarterback Tom Brady, the reigning champion of his team that defeated the Kansas City Chiefs and his return.
That return did not include an injury that wiped him out. Electrifying talent on the field. Those skills are sufficiently intact for the 32-year-old Brown to get a great place in the NFL, despite the history he did not want to discuss in an essential pre-Super Bowl news conference.
“If I talk about things that are not the focus of the game, then I’m having a disagreement.” Said.
Those things include verbal abuse aimed at the mother of their three children and recorded on video. And an allegation of sexual harassment which was described in detail National magazine. And a loom Case alleging rapeThere is a claim that Brown has categorically denied.
Now, he is the one A win from a championship ring after off-the-field trouble sent his career into one of the most surprising tumbles experienced by a star athlete in recent memory.
Tampa Bay gambled on him in a way no other team dared, signing Brown to a one-year contract in October when he was out of the game for a season and a year and a half. The Buccaneers did not take notice of the commentators, who noted the pattern of trouble around Brown said he needed time away from the league – possibly for good, but at least until his lawsuit was resolved.
The team also opted to look into the #MeToo movement and its original text: women with stories of pain and powerlessness in their dealings with famous men should be seriously heard and known.
According to a government report, remember that one in four women are abused by intimate partners during their lifetime. Let’s think that every time they see athletes like Brown, there are unresolved allegations around them, taking the field.
Let’s listen to Brenda Tracy, who describes herself as a group of victims of the 1998 gang rape, including two football players from the state of Oregon. Criminal charges were not imposed on the players, but they were suspended by the coach for making “a bad choice”. Tracy becomes an advocate for abused women, working towards change by sharing her story with someone. Colleges around the country have hired him to talk to their athletic teams.
“I won’t watch the Super Bowl this year,” she told me. “With Antonio Brown there, it’s too much.”
Ahead of the big game, Brown portrayed himself as a changed man – humble, grateful and under control.
He spoke in a calm, careful voice. He makes sense that he sees the allegations as a chance to prove he can win the adversity, mostly by catching Brady’s pass.
Brown said, “I want my legacy to be that of a person who stays consistent, a person who has never given up, no matter what, no matter what.”
What he really wanted was to move forward.
Not so. Let’s look at the claims made by a personal trainer named Brittany Taylor in the lawsuits.
In court filings, Taylor said Brown beat her twice in 2017. She also said that Brown raped her in 2018.
Through his legal team, the wide receiver has denied the allegations. He has retaliated by accusing Taylor of defamation. Brown and Taylor were involved in a “personal personal relationship”, their lawyer said in a statement.
It is important to remember that court proceedings can still be deferred if both parties reach a settlement. This is not a criminal trial, in which Brown will face the possibility of jail.
But Brittany Taylor is not alone.
In a Sports Illustrated article, an artist detailed allegations of sexual harassment by Brown. The wide receiver also once targeted the mother of his three children with profanity molestation and then posted a video of the incident on social media.
On Twitter in 2018, he threatened one of ESPN’s The Undefined Which Reporters Wrote an article About Brown’s prickly personal life and manipulating social media use. Brown apologized through a statement saying: “It is not okay to threaten anyone, and I need to get better spiritually and professionally.”
That year he also settled a lawsuit, alleging that he was throwing heavy furniture from his 14th floor apartment and nearly killing a child.
Brown’s aggressive behavior as a teammate prompted the Pittsburgh Steelers to trade with the Oakland Raiders in 2019. Just before the start of the season, the Raiders dumped him for similar reasons.
He briefly landed in New England, starting in Brady’s final season with the Patriots. The lawsuit accusing Brown of rape soon became public, followed by allegations of harassment by the artist. His third employer of that year let him loose.
Brady, who recently said he and Brown connected “immediately away” to New England, supported Tampa Bay’s decision to bring in receivers in the middle of this season. When Brown came to town, he initially lived at Brady’s house.
Yet the Browns and Buccaneers seem like a strange pair. The team has two full-time female coaches, and only eight in the entire league this season. The Women’s Sports Foundation has honored Coach Bruce Arians for supporting women in the NFL
But Arion proved that talent matters more than theory.
Sadly, this is often the bottom line for male stars in major sports. If you are accused of abusing or harassing women and it is easy to change them, then your job is probably gone. It does not make a conviction, trial or arrest. (See Jared Porter, the former general manager of the New York Mets, who was fired after allegations that he repeatedly sent inappropriate texts to a female reporter.)
If you are a star, well, your rights are virtually unlimited.
Brown signed with the Buccaneers just after completing an eight-game suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. The reason for that punishment? He had no stay on charges of theft and assault after a dispute with the truck driver.
She had every opportunity to express remorse for the incident last week. He did not.
So again, instead of women, let’s listen to those who won’t be in front of a huge global audience this weekend.
Mindy Murphy runs the Spring of Tampa Bay, home of the Buccaneers, the largest home violence shelter in Hillsborough County.
When the NFL tried to change its culture a few years ago, Ray Rais of the Baltimore Ravens was caught hitting his fiancé after he was caught, Murphy helped train the Buccaneers with abuse.
Now he starts getting disenchanted.
Watching the Super Bowl ring chasing Brown “Dissolve what the survivors have experienced,” she said. “When a team in the NFL says, ‘We are going to hire him, and he deserves a second chance,’ or he says, ‘We’re not sure what has happened, because it is closed doors.” Behind, ‘they reinforce the idea that this is not a good idea. “
Remember when watching the Buccaneers in the Super Bowl, and also remember Brown’s past.