On Monday, news broke that Antonio Brown was accused of destroying a security camera and throwing a bicycle at a security shack in his gated Florida community.
The incident allegedly happened on Oct. 15, prior to Brown signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
On Tuesday, news broke that the NFL was not previously aware of the incident. And that could be a problem for Brown and the Bucs.
NFL reinstated Brown without knowledge of alleged incident
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported that “the league wasn’t aware of the incident prior to reinstating Brown.” Meanwhile NFL vice president of communications Brian McCarthy told the Tampa Bay Times that “the league reviews any such incident of this kind.”
This could add up to further discipline for Brown for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.
Brown was banned for the first half of the season after pleading no contest to charges of burglary and battery for an incident involving a moving truck driver at his home. The multiple rape and sexual misconduct allegations against Brown by his former trainer did not play a role in his suspension. That civil case has yet to go to court.
NFL requires players to report incidents
Brown was not charged in the latest alleged incident. His accuser declined to press charges, citing a fear that Brown “may retaliate against her employees.” That doesn’t necessarily matter in the NFL’s eyes.
The NFL’s decision to reinstate Brown was not informed by the alleged security camera incident. The league’s personal conduct policy gives it a wide berth to administer discipline and requires players to report incidents whether or not there was an arrest.
“Failure to report an incident will be grounds for disciplinary action,” the policy reads. “This obligation to report is broader than simply reporting an arrest; it requires reporting to the league any incident that comes to the club’s or player’s attention which, if the allegations were true, would constitute a violation of the policy.”
Charges or not, Brown was required to report the alleged security camera incident to the league.
It’s now up to the NFL how hard a line it wants to take with one of its most troubled and troublesome players.