Peter King: Antonio Brown's Helmet 'Unquestionably' Would Fail Safety Test

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistAugust 12, 2019

Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown during NFL football minicamp Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in Alameda, Calif. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Eric Risberg/Associated Press

As Antonio Brown continues to fight his grievance against the NFL in hopes of playing with an old helmet not approved by league rules, it seems doing so would put his personal safety at risk.

Peter King of NBC Sports reported the helmet would "unquestionably" fail safety testing by the National Operating Committee for Standards and Athletic Equipment. The NFL requires all helmets to be approved by the organization, which does not test helmets over 10 years in age.

Brown's Schutt Air Advantage is 12 years old. 

"The player can't practice or play in games with equipment that's not approved. If he doesn't play or practice he is in breach of his contract and doesn't get paid," NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy said Monday on Twitter. "NFL policy is that Helmets have to be certified by NOSCAE. They don't certify equipment that's old than 10 years."

Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic reported Brown has threatened to hold the NFL liable if he suffers a head injury using a new helmet. The NFL began a phasing-out process of unapproved helmets last season, during which 32 players used equipment that would not be approved in 2019. Brown is the only player who is known to have been resisting the change.

"And I think it'll be interesting if the NFL forces Antonio to wear a different helmet," a source told Kaplan. "And he does play and he doesn't retire as some people have reported he will do. And then he suffers a really severe injury. I'd hate to be the NFL. Because now you've forced him into wearing a different type of helmet. And I think at that point, though, the liability will be dramatic."

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Brown has threatened to retire if the NFL does not approve him wearing the Schutt helmet. He has been using the helmet his entire career and says new equipment interferes with his ability to see the field and ball. While Brown's helmet was previously approved by NOCSAE in 2008, King said almost no helmets older than four or five years old would meet new requirements.

Brown has suffered only one known concussion during his NFL career, coming on an illegal hit by Vontaze Burfict in 2016. His continued absence from the Raiders amid the helmet controversy and frostbite due to a cryotherapy incident has only further muddied the perception around one of the NFL's biggest names.

The NFL is expected to make a ruling as soon as this week.

Stick to Football is live! Here's the loaded rundown recapping the 1st week of NFL Preseason, including a discussion about Brown (3:20)!