Antonio Brown interview becomes the key piece of the NFL’s investigation

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The NFL reportedly has secured 10 hours of information from Britney Taylor, the woman who has accused Patriots receiver Antonio Brown of sexual assault and rape. Eventually, the league will talk to Brown. And that interview will becomes a key piece of the investigation.

The extent to which league investigators found Taylor credible isn’t known — and it won’t be known until the NFL begins to make decisions about whether to place Brown on paid leave or to punish him with a suspension or a banishment. If her story seems believable to the league, Brown’s story will need to be more believable. And there’s a chance that Brown simply won’t be a good witness, regardless of whether he’s telling the truth.

Brown has navigated his way through plenty of delicate situations by relying heavily on a broad, electric smile. He’ll need more to persuade the league that he didn’t do what he is accused of doing, especially in light of messages sent to Taylor that, on their face, seem to corroborate portions of her allegations. How will he explain those? Will he be combative or belligerent when challenged with tough questions, or will he concede what he needs to concede in order to be believed as to the most important questions regarding whether he sexually assaulted or raped Taylor?

Last Tuesday night, Brown’s lawyer issued a sweeping denial of all allegations in the civil complaint filed by Taylor. That’s an unrealistic, and technically untrue, characterization of the lawsuit. While Taylor may not be telling the truth as to the most critical aspects of the lawsuit, there surely is plenty of truth contained in the complaint as it is written.

If Brown is wired to simply deny everything Taylor says, the league will need to corroborate only portions of her allegations with objective evidence to justify a full and complete rejection of his story. He’ll need to be able to set aside the frustration inherent to being accused of something he believes he didn’t do, and to provide calm, reasoned, and factually accurate answers.

And make no mistake about it — the league’s investigators are trained to assess credibility as to small issues in order to get a feel for credibility as to big issues. If he can be caught in a lie as to facts that don’t go to the heart of the matter, it becomes far easier to assume he’s not telling the truth as to the allegations that go to the core of the case.

It therefore will be incumbent on Brown’s camp to get him prepared to face the interrogation to come. He’s not a lawyer but a witness, and when the time comes to answer questions he needs to answer them clearly, directly, and dispassionately. If he strays into becoming an advocate for his position, he runs the risk of engaging in swordplay with the person who is questioning him instead of simply submitting to the process.

The challenge for the league becomes assessing Taylor’s story from the perspective of whether she has provided enough proof to convince the Commissioner that Brown “may have violated” the Personal Conduct Policy. If she has, the league will be justified in placing Brown on paid leave while the investigation proceeeds.

It’s also possible that, before doing so, the league will conduct a preliminary interview with Brown aimed at confirming any suspicion that he “may have violated” the policy, with a more exacting session happening after the Commissioner exercises his broad powers to take Brown off the field pending the completion of the league’s work.

Regardless of how it plays out, the fact that the league devoted so much time on Monday to talking to Brown’s accuser shows that the matter is being taken seriously. Which suggests that the league realizes the potential damage to The Shield that comes from letting Brown play under the cloud of allegations that the league potentially finds to be credible based on a 10-hour interview of the person who is making them.

In other words, the league can at any time place Brown on the Commissioner-Exempt list. Likewise, if the Patriots become aware of evidence that gives credence to the allegations made against Brown in a civil lawsuit, the Patriots could decide to sever ties with him, without any advance warning or notice.

So even though it seems that the situation has died down, it hasn’t. And the work that currently is happening outside of the view of the public could lead, sooner than later, to major decisions affecting Brown’s ability to continue to play football.

36 responses to “Antonio Brown interview becomes the key piece of the NFL’s investigation

  1. And there’s a chance that Brown simply won’t be a good witness, regardless of whether he’s telling the truth.

    Something tells me his interview will be quite interesting.

  2. I can’t imagine an interview with Brown being anything other than a clown show of his making. I’d bet money he brings his banned helmet along as his attorney…

  3. Placing Brown (or any player for that matter) on paid leave punishes only his team, because they’ll still have to pay him while doing without his services. The “commissioner’s exempt list” exempts him from responsibility to play for his team and exempts him from injury, while punishing his team by requiring them to pay him for sitting out. It’s a miracle teams go along with this.

  4. If Kraft truly believes in his own innocence, he will embrace the notion of innocent until provrn guilty and back a potentially falsely accused man. But if reports are true that Kraft stated he never would have allowed a deal for AB to be made if he were aware of the assault allegations, then that makes me more suspicious of Kraft too.

  5. 1. The text messages that were in the court documents alone are grounds for dismissal from his current job. Anybody else in the current work climate wouldn’t have a job.

    2. The fact that the Patriots still employ this type of individual proves that their entire reputation for being a world class operation is hot air. They care about one thing and that is winning, no matter the cost. It’s absolutely disgraceful.

  6. If the NFL questions AB for ten hours I don’t see any way that he can keep his cool that long. Lately he has been a rocket with a very short, lit fuse.

  7. Wow, NFL are gonna wait to hear from the accused before passing sentence? When did this attempt at due process start? They just invented evidence against Brady, even to the point of ignoring testimony of ref Walt Anderson as to which gauge was used. And even then had to get a 2nd court agree Roger could suspend anyway after the 1st court found Brady innocent. I’m guessing Fraudger feels he can afford to pretend to do things properly because Pats will win games with or without Brown – and BB prob isn’t too happy about that lawsuit either.

  8. AB needs to provide “calm, reasoned, and factually accurate answers” in order to appear credible. So, this should be a cake walk then.

  9. If the league only questioned her for a few hours some would be saying they were just going through the motions and are not taking her serious allegations seriously enough, even though it is only a civil suit. They are still compelled to grapple with this being a lawsuit and not a criminal situation and whether they want to open a can of worms regarding affecting competitive balance and a player’s career over what is in fact a non-criminal allegation.

    Common sense says they are best positioned by concluding to let the lawsuit progress before they act upon it, unless her evidence is overwhelming compared to his. To do otherwise exposes them to greater criticism if the case is resolved in his favor. If it is resolved in her favor then they can then act and they will still be perceived as being unwilling to accept such behavior one it is confirmed.

  10. whatsazj says:
    September 18, 2019 at 2:18 am
    1. The text messages that were in the court documents alone are grounds for dismissal from his current job. Anybody else in the current work climate wouldn’t have a job.

    2. The fact that the Patriots still employ this type of individual proves that their entire reputation for being a world class operation is hot air. They care about one thing and that is winning, no matter the cost. It’s absolutely disgraceful.
    ————————————————————————————–

    No way the Patriots knew about this allegation. You wish they did but sorry, they aren’t that stupid.

    If Brown is placed on the “Exempt” list, the Pats will cut him immediately.

    All y’all hate NE so much it’s clouding your judgement.

  11. >> Placing Brown (or any player for that matter) on paid leave punishes only his team, because they’ll still have to pay him while doing without his services. The “commissioner’s exempt list” exempts him from responsibility to play for his team and exempts him from injury, while punishing his team by requiring them to pay him for sitting out. It’s a miracle teams go along with this.

    This likely was the result of negotiation between the NFL and NFLPA. The NFL (all teams together) likely demanded the ability to exempt someone from playing solely at the discretion of the Commissioner under certain circumstances to “protect the shield”. The NFLPA likely agreed to it only under the condition that the player still gets paid. This prevents the commissioner from unilaterally applying undue pressure targeting certain players. Goodell can suspend/exempt a player to protect the league at his discretion but in reality impacts a specific team more than the player. I would think this would result in the power being used more judiciously, which is a positive.

  12. brown is a moron, you can’t “prepare him” for anything. that said, this universal media epiphany of self-righteousness only occured after he became a patriot.

  13. Reading the account provided by the woman was certainly disturbing. Outside of his interview… whether or not separate evidence from other women surfaces will have an impact. A person who violates one person by committing sexual assault/rape likely will have other
    victims. I think another credible case surfacing will sink him.

  14. The patriots do not need this guy. They are able to win without him. Why put up with the circus? Brown is mental. Let him go. I just don’t get it. Why keep him and protect him. The guy should be flipping burgers at this point for all of the bs he’s caused.

    Actually, that’s not fair to guys who flip burgers………

  15. The fact she did not file a police report speaks volumes. File a civil suit and lose, no big deal. File a police report and have it found the allegations are fabrications…. different story.

  16. “Likewise, if the Patriots become aware of evidence that gives credence to the allegations made against Brown in a civil lawsuit, the Patriots could decide to sever ties with him, without any advance warning or notice.”

    Now that is a funny statement, no way the Patriots take the steps of stopping Brown from playing, the only way the sever ties with him is if it becomes apparent that the league won’t let him play.

  17. 2. The fact that the Patriots still employ this type of individual proves that their entire reputation for being a world class operation is hot air. They care about one thing and that is winning, no matter the cost. It’s absolutely disgraceful.

    ======

    1. Every team cares only about winning.
    2. Who is your team?

  18. The patriots do not need this guy. They are able to win without him. Why put up with the circus? Brown is mental. Let him go. I just don’t get it. Why keep him and protect him.

    ====

    To keep him away from other teams. Many wanted him. Probably yours included.

    Him and Mahomes would be scary.

    They don’t “need” him either.

  19. juanweiner says:
    September 18, 2019 at 9:02 am
    Why is the NFL investigating this but the police arent? Shouldnt the accuser went to the police?

    A criminal investigation can result in the police and DA believing a suspect is guilty but determining that there isn’t enough evidence to win the case, therefore charges would not be brought against the accused. I don’t think whether this woman contacted the police would be released to the public, it might be but it might not be also. There are often times circumstances wherein the police/DA knows a person is guilty but can’t make a case against them, just look at criminal organization like the mafia. Another example would be the case of OJ Simpson, the court found him not guilty (that is not the same as innocent) but in the civil suit the verdict was that he was the cause of the deaths of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman and a $25 million civil award was order to be paid by Simpson to the victim’s families. A criminal case has a much higher burden of proof – beyond a reasonable doubt, whereas a civil case has the burden of proof at more likely than not. In layman’s terms the criminal standard is more like a 90% to 100% threshold of belief (depending on the juries consideration of what beyond a reasonable doubt is); whereas a civil case is 51% or greater.

    Thus a criminal case might never be brought against a guilty person but the victim has an avenue to restitution via a civil case that can more easily be won.

  20. So far, no evidence of sexual assault or rape has been provided by the accuser.
    AB made a sexual advance towards a woman in his home. She admits that his pivate parts were covered and even if they were not, AB was in his own home. If he did not touch her then there is nothing here but a ‘money grab’.

    Meanwhile there are at least three other NFL Teams with Players that have 1.) punched a pregnant woman in the stomach 2.) sucker punched another woman in public before witnesses 3.) thrown down and kicked another woman in public caught on tape 4.) child beating 5.) breaking a childs arm 6.) and so and so on

  21. If the Lawyer denies it all, why was he trying to settle it for $2,000.000 a week ago?
    If nothing happened?

  22. I really hoped the fact that this is the Patriots we’re talking about would lead to banishment or similar to hurt the team as a result of the other 31 owners chiming in, but then I remembered the same players solo made reference to (1.) punched a pregnant woman in the stomach 2.) sucker punched another woman in public before witnesses 3.) thrown down and kicked another woman in public caught on tape 4.) child beating 5.) breaking a child’s arm) and I’m inclined to think the other 31 will not say anything as they want to be able to hire the same types of guys too. A players talent outweighing his character is a league wide issue.
    I second the Pats not needing AB to go to the SB. I hope he gets cut. Banishment (for him and the other’s noted by solo) would be better-Pats Fan

  23. Weather the process is flawed from jump or not, at least they are going through a process. Far too often the process is skipped all together. My ligament justice prevail.

  24. “If the Lawyer denies it all, why was he trying to settle it for $2,000.000 a week ago?
    If nothing happened?”

    It was her attorney who wanted that settlement, not Brown’s. They turned down the offer to settle for that.

    Would a guilty guy who could conceal his vile actions by paying her off turn down that offer knowing she would go public and create huge issues for him? That alone casts doubt on her claims.

    If he had settled that would more indicate guilt to me that refusing to.

  25. whatsazj says:
    September 18, 2019 at 2:18 am

    1. The text messages that were in the court documents alone are grounds for dismissal from his current job. Anybody else in the current work climate wouldn’t have a job.

    2. The fact that the Patriots still employ this type of individual proves that their entire reputation for being a world class operation is hot air. They care about one thing and that is winning, no matter the cost. It’s absolutely disgraceful.
    ________________
    No SANE person would want to live in the world that you want.

    The Checks and Balances of the Criminal Justice System (that includes punishment for false reports) have been developed over hundreds of years and only a fool thinks the NFL Office can do a better and fairer job.

    Putting aside her actions as shown on video, requests for money for her business, and her returning to someone that she alleges treated her in a way that she did not want is the reality that she did NOT FILE a Police Report. That tells me that — more likely than not — this was all just a money grab.

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