New England Patriots Cut Antonio Brown The New England Patriots have cut Antonio Brown after just 11 days with the team. The wide receiver is accused of sexual assault and his future in the NFL is now in doubt.
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New England Patriots Cut Antonio Brown

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New England Patriots Cut Antonio Brown

New England Patriots Cut Antonio Brown

New England Patriots Cut Antonio Brown

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The New England Patriots have cut Antonio Brown after just 11 days with the team. The wide receiver is accused of sexual assault and his future in the NFL is now in doubt.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

To the NFL now. The New England Patriots have released receiver Antonio Brown. Pressure had been building on the Patriots after allegations surfaced that Brown sexually assaulted a former trainer. From member station WGBH in Boston, Esteban Bustillos has more.

ESTEBAN BUSTILLOS, BYLINE: Eleven days - that's how long the professional relationship between Antonio Brown and the New England Patriots lasted. And although the time was short, it was filled with strife from the beginning. Brown came in as something of a character whose antics forced the Oakland Raiders to release him. But the conversation became serious when Brown's former trainer Britney Taylor accused him of sexual assault and rape in a lawsuit. When the allegations became public, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick remained stoic.

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UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Were you aware of the lawsuit when you signed Antonio Brown?

BILL BELICHICK: I'm not going to be expanding on the statements that have already been given.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Don't you think the fans deserve to hear a little more from you on...

BELICHICK: When we know more, we'll say more.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: ...Such a major development that, you know, could impact the team?

BELICHICK: I just said that.

BUSTILLOS: But the Patriots didn't really say much more at all, and neither did Brown when he talked to reporters for the first time as a Patriot just yesterday. He answered a question about whether the NFL had told him anything about his playing status.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ANTONIO BROWN: I appreciate that question. You know, I'm just here to just focus on ball and look forward to getting out there in the home stadium and being with the team.

BUSTILLOS: The pressure's been on the NFL to do something. The league has battled image problems with multiple players over the past few years being accused of violence against women. During the past week, the NFL reportedly spoke to his accuser, Taylor, and Sports Illustrated reported that another unnamed woman had also accused him of sexual misconduct. Brown's agent tweeted this afternoon that Brown wants to play the game he loves and hopes to play for another team soon, which would be his fourth in less than a year.

For NPR News, I'm Esteban Bustillos in Boston.

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