Why Antonio Brown risks $30M payday amid National Football League helmet dispute

Tanya Simon
August 13, 2019

The NFL's response, issued by spokesman Brian McCarthy, essentially boils down to: "That's not how this is gonna go".

On Friday, Brown had a two-hour conference call with an independent arbitrator to argue why he should be allowed to wear his older helmet - a 10-year-old Schutt Air Advantage model - which he is thought to have been using his entire career. "If he doesn't play or practice he is in breach of his contract and doesn't get paid".

Meanwhile, Brady is plugging away at training camp, just trying to find a certified helmet that suits him. "They don't certify equipment that's old than 10 years".

On Monday an arbitrator ruled against Brown's grievance with the league to wear the helmet, according to Adam Schefter.

Brown claimed that the new helmet's that the league is enforcing will affect his vision and play on the field.

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The former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver previously said if he isn't allowed to wear his old helmet, he's going to quit football. The players were able to use the helmets last season under a grace period but will have to make the change this season.

Brown's coach Jon Gruden recently voiced support for his star player.

Brown has not been with the Raiders since being limited in a practice and leaving early on July 30. Barring an appeal to federal court, Brown must wear an approved helmet or remain on the sideline.

"I've got a feeling he would play with no helmet, that's how much he loves to play". However, some of the older models can no longer stand up to the rigorous safety testing the league requires. And we hope Antonio is back here soon, because he's exciting to be around. "I can't say I agree with all of them, certainly", Gruden said after the Raiders' 14-3 preseason victory over the L.A. Rams.

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