A week before he’s scheduled to meet with NFL investigators, free-agent wide receiver Antonio Brown backtracked Thursday afternoon after a profanity-filled tweet earlier in the day that said he wants the league to “clear my name” and reiterated that he’ll “never play” again.
Earlier Thursday, sources told ESPN’s Josina Anderson that Brown is scheduled to meet with the NFL next week concerning accusations of sexually assaulting multiple women and that the veteran receiver is eager to present his side.
However, hours later, Brown took to social media to display his frustration with the league.
“Imagine conforming to a system giving it a 100 percent to see them treat me like this is unfairly!” Brown said on Twitter. “Making money off my sweat and blood F— the @nfl I’ll never play in that s— treat black people the worse! Clear my name and go f— your self.”
Brown took a similar stance in a since-deleted post on Instagram, writing that he is “going down another path” and telling fantasy football players to “let it go.”
Later Thursday afternoon, however, Brown changed his tune, posting on social media that he was “very frustrated” and “determined” to return to the NFL.
Despite Brown initially tweeting Sept. 22 that he “will not be playing in the NFL anymore,” sources told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler last month that Brown hopes to have his playing status cleared up before signing with an NFL team.
Sources told ESPN on Thursday that there are teams interested in signing him pending resolution of the league’s wide-ranging investigation.
The NFL has yet to interview Brown, and a source told Fowler that the league was waiting to do so until the majority of its investigation was done. He was released by the New England Patriots in Week 3 after playing in just one game.
Brown is being investigated by the NFL under its personal conduct policy following a lawsuit filed by his former trainer Britney Taylor that alleges she was sexually assaulted on multiple occasions. Brown also was accused of sexual misconduct at his home by an artist who was working there in 2017.
Brown has officially been served lawsuit papers from Taylor, sources told ESPN, and has hired attorney Camille Blanton to accept that service and handle his case. This all happened Friday, and Brown has asked for 45 days to respond.
NFL teams appear to be waiting for the league’s findings before signing Brown. Sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Saturday that the Seattle Seahawks had been doing their due diligence on Brown prior to the team signing Josh Gordon, and that quarterback Russell Wilson was pushing for the team to sign Brown.
Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said there are “a few teams that are very interested in signing Antonio once this process is over.”
On Sept. 20, the NFL released a statement that said Brown would not be placed on the commissioner’s exempt list while he is a free agent but warned, “If he is signed by a club, such placement may become appropriate at any time depending on the status of the investigation.”
Brown has played in only one game this season — Week 2 against the Miami Dolphins. He was released by the Oakland Raiders before the season and by the Patriots before Week 3, after it was made known that he sent text messages to the artist accusing him of misconduct.
Brown has filed eight grievances against the Raiders and Patriots, a source told ESPN’s Dan Graziano. Brown is seeking $39.775 million in lost salary, bonuses and guaranteed money.
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