Antonio Brown: 'I've Just Been the Cancer of the NFL'; 'We All Need Mental Help'

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistFebruary 1, 2020

ARCHIVO - En esta foto de archivo del 15 de septiembre de 2019, aparece Antonio Brown, receptor de los Patriots de Nueva Inglaterra, durante un partido ante los Dolphins de Miami (AP Foto/Lynne Sladky, archivo)
Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

Antonio Brown spoke about the litany of off-field issues he has been involved in over the past year in an interview with ESPN's Josina Anderson on Friday, describing himself as "the cancer of the NFL."

Brown explained he "could have done a lot of things better" and owes "the whole NFL an apology."

Brown's interview came in the wake of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell telling reporters Thursday that the league's priority regarding the star wide receiver is his well-being. 

"I was pleased to hear that after 140 days that there was some positivity about me because as of late I've just been the cancer of the NFL," Brown said. "The problem child, the guy who gets in trouble, the kind of guy who has the bad narrative about him."

"We want to help get him on the right track, and get him in a position where he is in a zone where he thinks he can be successful in life," Goodell said. "And we are confident that can happen. We want to work to do that and from our standpoint that's the first step. The first step is making sure that we're doing everything to help Antonio."

Brown told Anderson "we all need mental help" when asked about possibly seeking psychological help. His state of mind has been called into question on several occasions during the season in relation to his social media activity and some concerning allegations against him.

Most recently, Brown was charged with burglary of an unoccupied conveyance, burglary with battery and criminal mischief in late January. Brown and his trainer, Glen Holt, are accused of assaulting a delivery driver in a dispute over an unpaid bill.

Brown has not played in the NFL since he was released by the New England Patriots in September after allegations of sexual assault and misconduct, as well as intimidation, surfaced against him.

Britney Taylor, Brown's former trainer, filed a federal lawsuit against him that month alleging that he sexually assaulted her twice in 2017 and raped her in 2018. 

Less than a week later, Robert Klemko reported for Sports Illustrated that a woman hired by Brown to paint a mural at his home in June 2017 had accused the seven-time Pro Bowler of sexual misconduct. The woman told Klemko that Brown approached her from behind "naked, holding a small hand towel over his genitals" in what was interpreted as a "clear sexual come-on."

Klemko later reported the woman said she received a series of intimidating texts from Brown in the wake of her original accusations. 

When asked about the allegations, Brown told Anderson he is going to let the courts "handle that stuff" before adding he feels he has been targeted: 

"I just feel like I'm a target so, anybody can come against me and say anything [that] I have to face. There's no support, there's no egos, there's no rules in it, anyone can come after me for anything. No proof or whatever. 'He said, she's saying.'

"The media will run with it, so even if I'm not guilty, [I'm] already guilty because they already wrote it, put it on TV and put that in people minds. So for me to have to sit here and hear those the allegations of me is just unfair to me every time."

In addition to Taylor's lawsuit, Brown remains under investigation by the NFL for potentially violating the league's personal conduct policy. 

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