It’s time for Antonio Brown Helmet Grievance 2.0.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Raiders receiver has filed a new grievance regarding the league’s decision to prevent him from wearing a Schutt AiR Advantage helmet that is less than 10 years old.
Last Monday, a neutral, independent arbitrator found that Brown could not wear a helmet that is more than 10 years old; NOCSAE won’t recertifiy any helmet, regardless of model, that is more than 10 years old. Since then, Brown’s representatives identified an obvious loophole. Because the Schutt AiR Advantage hasn’t been banned generally by the NFL, he should be permitted to wear one that is less than 10 years old, and that can be recertified by NOCSAE.
The NFL did not include the Schutt AiR Advantage within the list of 11 helmet models banned in 2018. The NFL also gave players wearing banned helmets a one-year grace period, allowing them to continue to wear the banned helmet while transitioning to a new model.
Brown hasn’t received that courtesy, because the NFL didn’t ban the Schutt AiR Advantage until he found multiple models that were less than 10 years old, and thus that could be recertified by NOCSAE. He’ll argue that, at a minimum, he should receive the same one-year grace period that was given to players like Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who ultimately won the Super Bowl while wearing a helmet that the NFL has deemed to be unsafe for use.