Antonio Brown Saga Just Another Sign of the Patriot Way

In the days after the New England Patriots dumped him, receiver Antonio Brown has come out speaking cash and smack, threatening to take former groups to arbitration for having the audacity to tear up his contracts.

In tweets which have taken on a not so barely unhinged high quality, the 31-year-old receiver sounded purely pugnacious: “Will not be playing in the @NFL anymore these owners can cancel deals do whatever they want at anytime we will see if the @NFLPA hold them accountable sad they can just void guarantees anytime.”

Unfortunately for this former All-Pro, he’s unemployed for simple causes: He is on the receiving finish of horrific accusations from two girls. A coach has accused him in a lawsuit of sexually assaulting her thrice, and an artist stated that he had uncovered himself to her and that, after she spoke of this to Sports Illustrated, he had despatched her threatening group textual content messages, replete with pictures of her youngsters.

Brown is just not what Mother Jones had in thoughts when she campaigned for employee’s rights. And as sports activities contracts have private conduct clauses, he may wave goodbye to many hundreds of thousands of .

Let’s put apart the query of this man’s wage beefs. Another query cuts nearer to the coronary heart of the coronary heart of our tradition and this hottest and brutal of American sports activities. Why did the Patriots signal Brown and why did they let him play a recreation after studying of the sexual assault allegations?

Michael LeRoy, a professor of labor relations at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign provides the are-you-kidding-me coda: “What does it say about the N.F.L. that they didn’t step in?”

Allow me to supply a cheat sheet: It says nothing good in any respect about the group or the league.

The New England Patriots are one of the most profitable franchises in the historical past of the recreation, and their success has include three males at the helm: Owner Robert Okay. Kraft, Coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady. With the smarmy sanctimony that’s the explicit protect of this sport, the Patriots are splendidly taken with their very own mystique. They will not be simply profitable, they’re smarter, cleverer and — right here you could stifle fun — extra righteous.

Asked to elucidate the so-called Patriot Way, Kraft in 2013 told The NFL Network, “It’s about trying to collect a lot of good people.”

By sheerest dumb chance, the owner offered that explanation in the same year that Aaron Hernandez, the Patriots’ star tight end, was indicted on the first of multiple homicide counts.

Let’s put that unsightly business to the side, too. In its ordinariness, this chapter tells us more about the Patriots and the league.

As this was the Patriots’ way, the move played brilliantly with the press. They are, reporters proclaimed, a superteam.

Kraft had nothing much to say. Nor did Brady, who went on radio and talked in dizzying circles about love of game and teammates and life and the universe.

As for Belichick, Dana Jacobson of CBS Sports, caught up with him on Sunday and asked about his ‘final straw’ with Brown.

“We’re focused on the Jets today,” Belichick replied. Then he offered the reporter his dead-squirrel stare.

A bad look for the N.F.L.? Nope, perfectly on brand.

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