Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown has made the headlines once again. Not because of his playing ability or his progress with his new team, the Oakland Raiders, but because of a head issue. As of late, Brown has filed a second grievance against the NFL over not being allowed to wear his “particular” helmet.
Brown initially filed his first helmet grievance in early August. Brown’s favorite helmet, the Schutt Air Advantage helmet, is no longer approved under the National Operating Committee for Standards and Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE). The NFL has made it known that they will not approve any helmet or equipment that isn’t approved by the NOCSAE. As a result, he would lose his first grievance.
Brown decided to file a second grievance a week later, over the fact that he isn’t allowed a one year grace period to wear his non-approved helmet like other players were given the previous season. NFL writer Adam Schefter reports that Brown dislikes the NFL approved helmet because it, “protrudes out and interferes with his vision as he tries to catch the football.” He prefers his old helmet, the one he has been wearing since his career started with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Brown sees nothing wrong with wanting to have his way and continue to play with a helmet that isn’t approved by the NFL or their subsidiaries.
However, several former NFL Players like Shannon Sharpe and Ryan Clark take issue with Antonio Brown, because they feel he is the same immature guy he was when he played with the Steelers. The sports media’s perception of Antonio Brown is as a “diva.” They believe he only cares about himself and that he needs to focus on playing football, not how aesthetically appealing a helmet is. Not to mention, his Instagram antics haven’t helped his portrayal in the media either. Brown remains on social media, whether that’s expressing his animosity towards his former teammate Ben Roethlisberger or threatening not to play over the helmet dispute.
What many find difficult to understand, is the fact that Antonio Brown is one of 32 NFL players who are being forced to switch helmets this season. Yet, Brown is the only player to file not one, but two grievances against the NFL.
At one point, Brown even brought up the possibility of retiring if he could not wear his favorite helmet. Some thought he actually wouldn’t show up when he began missing time at training camp. He was holding out of camp until his helmet grievance was resolved. Brown would soon lose his second grievance against the NFL.
The Raiders general manager Mike Mayock made a strong statement about Antonio Brown, saying it’s time for him, “to be all-in or all-out.” After making that statement, Brown shortly returned to the team for practice the following Monday.
Is the drama finally over? Can AB put his drama aside and focus on football?
Brown’s agent Drew Rosenhaus revealed in an interview that Antonio Brown is moving on, saying that he, “won’t be missing any time, and he’ll be getting paid a lot of money to do so. It’s sort of a happy ending, even though he won’t be able to wear the old helmet.” Essentially, Brown and Rosenthaus have found other alternatives for helmets, and we will see Brown in play.
The Oakland Raiders completed a trade for Antonio Brown with the Steelers back in March. From the first helmet grievance to the beef with Ben Roethlisberger, and now with the second helmet grievance, Antonio Brown has been in the news for everything but his game.
The Raiders kick off Week One of the regular season against the Denver Broncos on Monday, September 9. Let’s see if Antonio Brown can leave the drama at home and come to play like the high caliber player we all know him to be.