Antonio Brown may be embroiled in a lawsuit but one national sports writer is coming to his defense, saying he should be allowed to continue to play and cash a paycheck. Rob Parker thinks that until things are resolved, Brown must be presumed innocent and remain on the field.
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Parker, a personality on FS1 who also co-hosts the "Odd Couple" show on FoxSports Radio with Chris Broussard, sees plenty of grey when it comes to the Brown situation. Signed by the New England Patriots on Monday, a civil lawsuit filed this week by former trainer Britney Taylor alleges that the star wide receiver raped her.
Brown has not been suspended by the NFL and has practiced this week with the Patriots. Noting that there is no police report about the incident, Parker talked about this being a civil lawsuit and not a criminal issue.
"I think you let it play out. You allow him to play and earn a living until there's a judgment or there's some sort of finality to it, and then you can make your case,” Parker said Thursday on his radio show. “Anybody can file a lawsuit against you. A plumber can file a lawsuit, there can be just almost anything. I don’t know, and I’m just being hypothetical…Do you just go in and act immediately when there’s some sort of a lawsuit and take someone from their job?”
Showing the polarization around the issue, host Broussard disagreed with Parker, saying that Brown should be placed on the commissioner’s exempt list. That move would be equivalent to Brown being put on paid leave by the Patriots.
“I could not disagree with you more. I think this is the rush to judgment that this country has turned into,” Parker said of the push to immediately suspend Brown without letting the legal process play out. He then referenced Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s arrest on prostitution charges in connection to his January visits to a Florida spa.
“We have the owner of the Patriots who was involved in a prostitution situation, he hasn’t been suspended by the league. They haven’t done anything to him yet,” Parker said. “He’s still running the organization, he’s still in the owner box. Nothing has been done to him. And they have him on videotape. This is no ‘He said, she said’ which is what we had here.”
Parker is very much in the minority opinion in the media when it comes to Brown and allowing him to play. FoxSports Radio’s Jason Smith, on his Thursday show, played a cautious line. While not advocating for the Patriots wide receiver to be suspended or placed on the exempt list, Smith argued that the league and the Patriots should be cautious and not play the star until more details emerge.
"With so much not being known, it's OK to be safe and tell Antonio Brown to sit for a week so we can figure this out,” Smith said on his show. “To allow him to play opens up a really bad possibility of bad publicity that the NFL and Patriots can't take."