Patriots release Antonio Brown amid sexual assault allegations

The New England Patriots has announced the release of wide receiver Antonio Brown after multiple sexual assault allegations had surfaced against him.

Patriots release Antonio Brown amid sexual assault allegations

The Patriots have released wide receiver Antonio Brown. The team announced the move Friday, ahead of its Week 3 matchup with the Jets.

The news comes after multiple sexual assault allegations surfaced since he joined the team less than two weeks ago after being released by the Raiders.

"The New England Patriots are releasing Antonio Brown," the team said in a statement. "We appreciate the hard work of many people over the past 11 days, but we feel that it is best to move in a different direction at this time.”

The NFL released its own statement later Friday, which noted the ongoing investigation into the sexual assault allegations and his status as a free agent.

"Antonio Brown was released today by the New England Patriots and is currently an unrestricted free agent. Our office is presently investigating multiple allegations, some of which are the subject of pending litigation. We have as yet made no findings regarding these issues. The investigation is ongoing and will be pursued vigorously and expeditiously. 

"As long as Mr. Brown is a free agent, placement on the Commissioner's exempt list is not appropriate. If he is signed by a club, such placement may become appropriate at any time depending on the status of the investigation. Upon the conclusion of the investigation, he may also be subject to discipline if the investigation finds that he has violated the law or league policies."

Brown's stint in New England lasted just one game.

He thanked the Patriots for the opportunity on Twitter, adding "#GoWinIt," before a slew of tweets that included a quote, "If I'm lying then I'm flying," and a popular line from late rapper Nipsey Hussle, "The marathon continues."

Brown's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, released a statement later Friday.

"It's unfortunate things didn't work out with the Patriots," he wrote on Twitter. "But Antonio is healthy and is looking forward to his next opportunity in the NFL. He wants to play the game he loves and he hopes to play for another team soon."

 

Brown was accused by his former trainer, Britney Taylor, of sexual assault and rape in a civil lawsuit, and a second unidentified woman has also made allegations of sexual misconduct against the receiver.

He has strongly denied the allegations through his attorney but avoided answering questions directly during Patriots media availabilities.

The lawyer of the unidentified woman released their own statement to Sports Illustrated, which broke the story of the woman's initial allegations.

“We are gratified that the NFL recognized that it has an important role to play in policing player conduct that is sexually harassing and threatening," it read in part.

The Patriots have not directly addressed the allegations against the receiver in recent media appearances. 

Coach Bill Belichick walked out of Friday's press conference when questions were repeatedly raised.