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Patriots release Antonio Brown amid misconduct accusations

Wide receiver Antonio Brown
Photo: John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The New England Patriots released wide receiver Antonio Brown on Friday, according to a team news release, after a second woman came forward with reports of sexual misconduct.

What they're saying: Per a statement, a Patriots spokesperson said it was time to "move in a different direction," given the NFL's investigation into allegations against the player, who has been mired in controversy since his departure from the Oakland Raiders earlier this month.

  • "New England is the third team in seven months to tire of the off-field behavior that has overshadowed his accomplishments as one of the NFL’s most prolific receivers for a decade," writes the AP.

The state of play: After signing a 1-year, $15 million contract with the Patriots earlier in September, Brown was accused of rape and assault by a former trainer in 3 instances between 2017 and 2018, though he has not been criminally charged.

  • Brown denied the claims through his lawyer.
  • After Sports Illustrated revealed a second woman accused Brown of sexual misconduct, which allegedly occurred in 2017, the outlet reported that the player sent threatening text messages this Wednesday.

The impact: On Thursday, Nike dropped the 7-time pro-bowler from a sponsorship agreement.

  • Brown reacted to the move on Twitter, thanking the Patriots and writing, “The marathon continues.”