The arbitrator has spoken, and so has Antonio Brown. It’s just not clear what Brown is saying.
“While I disagree with the arbitrator’s decision, I’m working on getting back to full health and looking forward to rejoining my teammates on the field,” Brown said on Instagram regarding the outcome of the grievance filed regarding the league’s refusal to allow him to wear his helmet of choice. “I’m excited about this season appreciate all the concerns about my feet.”
The “while I disagree” comment seems to be a precursor to a statement accepting the decision, but he never specifically and expressly does that. Acceptance is implied, but there’s a chance that Brown will explore other options before crying “uncle” on this issue.
Some have suggested that Brown’s lingering absence from the Raiders has more to do with his helmet preference than his feet, which reportedly were frozen in a cryotherapy chamber last month. His statement pins the absence squarely on the residual effects of the frostbite.
Until he actually returns, it’s fair to wonder whether something more is going on. Brown reportedly has threatened to retire over the helmet situation. And his legal team has leaked to the media that, if Brown suffers an injury wearing a different helmet, Brown will hold the league liable.