The NFL didn’t do much last week to investigate the sexual assault and rape allegations against Patriots receiver Antonio Brown. On Monday, the league will do plenty.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that NFL investigators will meet with Britney Taylor on Monday. Last Tuesday, she sued Brown in Florida civil court, claiming that Brown had engaged in three incidents of misconduct that, if true, violate the league’s Personal Conduct Policy.
The league office floated last week to the Washington Post the notion that Commissioner Roger Goodell would seriously consider his power to place Brown on paid leave pending the completion of the investigative and disciplinary process. Without at least talking to the accuser, however, it becomes difficult if not impossible to reach a conclusion as to whether paid leave is justified, even under the very relaxed standard that allows placement on the Commissioner-Exempt list if the Commissioner believes that the player simply “may have violated” the policy.
Another person could be interviewed this week. Rapoport reports that the “known football player” (as that term is used in the lawsuit) who was with Taylor and Brown on the night of the alleged rape is currently a rookie in the NFL, which allows the league to compel him to cooperate in any NFL-initiated investigation. (Brown’s cousin, Marquise, currently is a rookie with the Baltimore Ravens; neither the lawsuit nor Rapoport mention him as the unnamed other player.)
Brown is clear to play on Sunday, and he has traveled with the team to Miami for the Week Two game against the Dolphins. As soon as Week Three, however, there’s a chance he will be getting paid, but not playing.