The legendary Antonio Brown has threatened to quit the NFL over a helmet grievance. He has had a meeting with the NFL on Friday to try and convince them to let him use the old helmet.
It would be a sad day in NFL history to see a player of his quality leave over a helmet disagreement.
The Helmet Ultimatum
Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown has many reasons as to why he could not play in the NFL but he has chosen to use the disagreement on the helmet. Brown has stated that he won’t return to playing for the Raiders if he does not get to play with the helmet of his choice. Unfortunately for Brown the helmet has been discontinued and is longer approved by NFL rules.
Before Friday Brown was supposedly ready for pre-season despite his cryotherapy mishap. He has had frostbite symptoms which many thought was the real reason he did not want to play in preseason but many reports stated that it was in fact that he cannot use his old helmet. The former All-Pro was traded to the Raiders in the offseason and things have been extremely rocky. There has been many other issues such as Brown being constantly late, the use of technology and his lack of communication with the team as a whole.
Brown had filed a grievance with the NFL over the helmet that he has used his entire career while at the Pittsburg Steelers but they have denied his request because the helmet is no longer certified by the National Operating Committee for Standards Athletic Equipment. Brown has gone to extreme lengths to try and ensure that he uses his old helmet. He accepted the new helmet from the equipment coach but it wasn’t long after that he supposedly sprayed his old helmet and took the field with it. NOCSAE have stated that they will not allow for any helmets that are older than 10 years.
If Brown left football he would be walking away from a three year contract worth $50 million of which $30 million is guaranteed. He would also be damaging his legacy to leave over something potentially so small. Brown’s record since 2010 with the Steelers has been quite impressive, he accumulated 11,207 yards and 74 touchdowns. In the 2018 season he led the league with 15 touchdowns. If he chooses to continue working with the Raiders there is no limit to how far he can take his talent.
The Raiders Official Position
Brown still continues to be upset as he feels that legendary quarterback Tom Brady would still be allowed to wear his helmet. The Raiders are going to have to get control over the situation, they might have said that they are standing behind Brown but should he continue to wear his old helmet and violate the rules the Raiders will be penalised.
Not Worth The Hassle
We can only hope that a player of Brown’s stature does not leave the game because he would be missed. He is a fantastic player and his finally at a side that he wants to be at, a helmet disagreement should not be important enough to jeopardise his career.