Antonio Brown is Clinging on to His Helmet
Antonio Brown is contesting the NFL’s new helmet regulations, a league source told ESPN on Friday.
The Oakland Raiders wide receiver believes that he should be allowed to continue wearing his old helmet. Antonio Brown has a 12-year old Schutt Air Advantage helmet that has been with him his whole career. It appears sentimentality is important to Antonio Brown.
A new rule coming into effect for the upcoming 2019 seasons prohibits players from wearing helmets that are deemed unsafe. Last season, 32 players wore helmets that would now be banned.
Brown is the only player so far who is not complying.
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On Friday, Brown reportedly had a two hour conference call with an independent arbitrator. The arbitrator was joined by league officials, NFLPA officials and league representatives. Brown asserts that the league approved helmets protrude out too much. He claims that as a result they impair his vision as he tries to catch the ball.
He feels so strongly about this that he has threatened to take action against the NFL is he is injured while wearing a new helmet.
“And I think it’ll be interesting if the NFL forces Antonio to wear a different helmet,” a source told Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic.
“And he does play and he doesn’t retire as some people have reported he will do, then he suffers a really severe injury. I’d hate to be the NFL. Because now you’ve forced him into wearing a different type of helmet. And I think at that point, though, the liability will be dramatic.”
He has also threatened to retire altogether if the league forces him to wear the new helmets. It’s all part of a summer of drama surrounding Brown, who has been absent from team activities.
Most recently, he has been dealing with frostbite on his foot that arose from botches cryotherapy treatment.