New England Patriots dump Brown amid NFL rape probe

New York (AFP) –


The New England Patriots released Antonio Brown after just 11 days on Friday amid an ongoing NFL investigation into allegations of rape and sexual assault.

Brown, who has denied the claims of rape made in a civil lawsuit in Florida, was shown the door by the Patriots after further revelations emerged in a Sports Illustrated story earlier this week.

The 31-year-old wide receiver played just one game for the Patriots before being cut.

"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."

Brown was jettisoned by the Patriots just hours after the Super Bowl champions' coach Bill Belichick cut short a press conference after being peppered with questions about the receiver.

Three days after Brown joined the Patriots, his former trainer, Britney Taylor, filed a civil lawsuit in US District Court in Miami accusing Brown of two incidents of sexual assault in June 2017 and rape during a May 2018 incident in Brown's Miami home.

Brown has maintained any sexual contact with Taylor was consensual and describing the legal action as an extortion attempt.

Regardless of the outcome of Taylor's lawsuit, the NFL can take disciplinary action against Brown.

Brown also faced a new accusation on Friday according to a Sports Illustrated report after a woman who accused him of an unwanted sexual advance in 2017 received what she called intimidating text messages from Brown on Wednesday night, after the magazine published a story detailing her allegations.

Brown's whirlwind stint with the Patriots followed a tumultuous pre-season with the Oakland Raiders, who cut the receiver on September 7.