The NFL doesn’t require players to say anything useful to the media, but the NFL requires them to show up. Since joining the Patriots a week ago, receiver Antonio Brown hasn’t.
Not surprisingly, Mike Giardi of the NFL reports that the NFL is looking into Brown’s failure to meet after his first game as a Patriot. The NFL requires all players to be available once during the week and after each game. Brown has not yet spoken to reporters since joining the Patriots.
The league sometimes issues a warning and a threat of a fine before imposing a fine. In this specific case, the team also may have to answer some tough questions, given that Brown was cleared out of the locker room — with his name off the locker that had been assigned to him — before the media was allowed to even enter.
The league’s media policy requires that “[c]lubs must ensure that name plates with players’ names and numbers are left in position until after the locker room has cleared of media.”
Whatever the consequence imposed by the league on the Patriots and/or Brown, it surely will be deemed by the organization to have been worth it. At a time when the league has commenced an investigation into a civil lawsuit filed against Brown for sexual assault and rape, he would have been hounded with questions about it — and anything he said, every facial expression he displayed, and every aspect of his demeanor in responding to those questions would have potentially been used against him, by the league, by his accuser in civil court, and possibly by the authorities if/when a criminal probe happens.