FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The New England Patriots released wide receiver Antonio Brown on Friday.
“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 team said in a statement.
Brown had practiced with the team earlier Friday, then tweeted this:
Earlier Friday, Nike spokesman Josh Benedek confirmed that the company is no longer working with Brown, telling The Associated Press, “Antonio Brown is not a Nike athlete.” The move comes after Brown, who already faces a civil suit contending he raped a former trainer, was accused of exposing himself to a woman working on a mural at his Pittsburgh home.
A person familiar with the investigation process told the AP that the league has not summoned Brown for a meeting, which would require a union representative to be present. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigative process is not made public.
In his first interview with reporters since agreeing to a one-year, $15 million deal with the Patriots on Sept. 7, Brown took only four questions on Thursday and declined to answer questions about the accusations. Sports Illustrated first reported on the second accuser, and Nike’s decision was first reported by the Boston Globe.
NFL spokesmen did not respond to requests for comment.
TOP PHOTO: New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown carries his helmet during an NFL football practice, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)