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The NFL has to put the Patriots receiver on the vacant roster







© AP Photo / Stephen Sen


In the fast-paced world of Antonio Brown, one day may feel like a lifetime. And as the hours ticked by and the afternoon turned into Wednesday night, the day after Brown was accused of rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment by his former trainer in a federal lawsuit, the question hung in the air:

Where was the NFL?

The New England Patriots, Brown's newest team, said in a statement that the NFL was investigating, but there was no wage from the most powerful league in the country.

Exactly five years and three days ̵

1; a time that elapsed from the time we first saw the video of Ray Rice's hit to his then fiancée Janai Palmer at the time – the NFL spent a lot of time telling us how much interested in women.

There have been some bumps and flaws on the subject for sure, but the final news of Tuesday night's case provided the league with an opportunity that could best be described as a settlement.

Still no one knows who is telling the truth, Brown or Britney Taylor, who chose to make her name public while making the allegations, but if we learned anything in the #MeToo era, it's that we should listen to women.

That doesn't mean kicking Brown out of the league or even stopping him. Still, maybe not ever.

OPINION: Antonio Brown is turning out to be the worst thing to happen for the 100th NFL season

It means taking the case seriously enough to hide Brown somewhere for now while investigating Taylor's allegations.

That somewhere? The commissioner's list off, the place where the bad guys of the NFL go to get paid and get out of the way.

The NFL is not a court of law. This is a sports league that understandably cares a lot about optics. He can also control what he puts on the field for public consumption.

This Sunday the Brown Patriots will play the Dolphins in Miami. Let's all shoot the scene if Brown is on the ground. Let's predict the players and teams around the league that will be short-lived if Brown, the man accused of sexual assault, catches Tom Brady's pass, maybe noticing and generally becoming the league's face.

This would not be the dreamy start to the much-hyped 100th season that the NFL expected. That would be a nightmare.

But it's so easy to avoid. Over the years, the list of players on the list released by the commissioner includes Michael Vick, Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy and Karim Hunt. Some call it paid leave. For others, it is more of a penal field.

For now, it's the perfect place for Brown, at least for now. He is not guilty of anything at the moment (except for the absurdities of the last few weeks). But with charges pending, including graphic text messages that could confirm one of Taylor's claims, he should not have the privilege of playing football this week, not in the 2019 NFL.

The league is increasingly turning into a a mirror of American society, with Rice's 2014 history, the battle of Donald Trump-Colin Kipernik and a fan base that the league says is increasingly made up of women and girls, up to 45% now of the NFL total.

The NFL is just as much a part of US culture as the #MeToo movement. They coexist in 21st Century America and this is as it should be.

So, before too much time goes by, the NFL must take Brown off the pitch for as long as necessary. This one is simple. It lists the full text of the Commissioner being released.

This article originally appeared in USA TODAY: Antonio Brown: NFL Must Put Patriots Receiver On Released List

Related Slideshow: 2019 NFL Season (Submitted) by imagn)


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