Raiders

Ex-Raiders receiver Antonio Brown accused of rape in federal lawsuit

Ex-Raiders receiver Antonio Brown accused of rape in federal lawsuit

Antonio Brown's former trainer filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday in Florida, accusing the former Oakland Raiders wide receiver of raping her.

The New York Times first reported particulars of the suit, which details three incidents in which Britney Taylor alleges that Brown sexually assaulted her. 

In a statement to The Athletic's Nick Underhill, the Patriots said the NFL will be investigating the allegations against Brown and that "[under] no circumstance does this organization condone sexual violence or assault."

Darren Heitner, Brown's lawyer, said the now-New England Patriots wide receiver "denies each and every allegation in the lawsuit" in a lengthy statement. 

When reached by NBC Sports Bay Area, David Haas, one of Taylor's attorneys, pointed to this statement from her posted on his firm's website: “As a rape victim of Antonio Brown, deciding to speak out has been an incredibly difficult decision. I have found strength in my faith, my family, and from the accounts of other survivors of sexual assault. Speaking out removes the shame that I have felt for the past year and places it on the person responsible for my rape. I will cooperate with the NFL and any other agencies; however, at this time, I respectfully request that the media please respect my privacy.” 

According to the suit, Taylor and Brown first met in 2010 as classmates at Central Michigan University, where Taylor competed as a gymnast. Brown was Taylor's bible-study partner during a meeting for the campus' chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the two "remained in touch" after Brown went to the NFL and Taylor transferred to LSU in 2012. They "fell out of touch" after Taylor graduated, according to the suit. 

The suit said, upon them reconnecting on Facebook, Brown hired Taylor as his trainer in June 2017. Shortly after, Taylor alleged, Brown exposed himself to her while she was getting dressed in his Pittsburgh-area home and "kissed her without her consent." Later that month, Taylor alleged that Brown stood behind her, masturbated and ejaculated on her while the two were watching a church service in his Miami home.

Taylor told Brown's chef she no longer would work for Brown after sharing what had happened and, according to the suit, Brown later fired her via text message.

Taylor said she cut off contact with Brown after he texted her, admitting to ejaculating on her back. The lawsuit contained NSFW screenshots of the alleged text messages.

The suit contends that Brown again reached out to Taylor in February 2018, and the two agreed to begin working together in March "on the condition, which is reflected in writing, that Brown stop flirting with her anymore." They began working together again in April, according to the suit.

On "approximately" May 20, 2018, Brown, Taylor and "another football player who trained with them" went to a club in Miami, the suit said. Taylor said she drove Brown and the football player home, and that Brown "pulled her into his bedroom" soon after she walked into Brown's house.

Then, the suit alleged, "Brown cornered her and pulled her down on the bed on her stomach" when she tried to leave the room. Taylor shouted "no" and "stop," but Brown "forcibly raped her," according to the suit.

In a statement, Heitner said Taylor "solicited Mr. Brown to join her and to return to Mr. Brown's residence where the two engaged in consensual sex."

Brown plans to countersue Taylor for civil extortion, ESPN's Josina Anderson reported Tuesday, citing a source.

Brown joined the Patriots last week, hours after the Raiders released him upon his request. The Raiders did not immediately release a statement on the suit against Brown.

Derek Carr details what must get fixed to reignite Raiders offense

Derek Carr details what must get fixed to reignite Raiders offense

ALAMEDA – The Raiders stink. They’re a terrible team after blowout losses against the Jets and Chiefs despite being truly amazing just over a fortnight’s past, when they were coming off a three-game winning streak that made them NFL darlings and a resurgent playoff contender.

That’s the same team we’re talking about, One coming off dramatically different results that have a once confident fan base pulling its hair out heading into Sunday’s vital matchup against the Tennessee Titans.

A win against them at Oakland Coliseum and all is right in the world (again). Lose and it’s apocalypse now.

“I’m excited we get a chance to go compete against a really good football team,” quarterback Derek Carr said. “That’s the beautiful thing about this game. You rewind two weeks ago, we were the greatest story in the NFL and two weeks later we suck again, so I think we’ll be alright. (laughter) We are just going to keep grinding. We’re going to stick to what we do.”

Carr admits they’ll have to do better, especially on offense. The passing game is stuck in neutral, revving its engine without moving an inch.

That’s large part receiver issues – Jon Gruden says he’s shaking up that position group this week – and some lackluster quarterback play with two pick-sixes in the last two games. Can’t have that, plain and simple. The Raiders can’t afford the penalty issues plaguing them recently. They can’t afford the nine-quarter touchdown drought that stretched from the Bengals game through the Jets contest and deep into the Chiefs embarrassment. The Raiders beat the Bengals but have been outscored 74-21 in two losses since.

“We’ve had a rough two weeks,” Carr said. “I’ve had a rough two weeks. It’s time to get back on track, it’s time to get back in our stadium, it’s time to be efficient on offense, it’s time to win. I’m excited we get a chance to go compete against a really good football team.”

The Raiders' offense must find a groove after hitting a rough patch, but let’s not forget this unit posted 24 or more points for six straight weeks. They can get going again by finding old magic. The key, Carr says, is staying on schedule and staying balanced. They have to start strong – they aren’t built to overcome large deficits – and avoid major mistakes.

[RELATED: Carr can't say enough about rookie Jacobs' toughness]

That’s how the Raiders did it before. That’s how they can do it again.

“Our execution has not been good enough at all,” Carr said. “Like executing the plays to every detail hasn’t been good enough at all. Turning the ball over myself. I don’t do that. I don’t want to do that. Never been something I’ve wanted to do or been a part of my game and so it doesn’t matter how it happened or why it happened, it happened, and we have to eliminate the turnovers and that starts with me.”

Johnathan Hankins loves being leader to young Raiders' defensive line

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USATSI

Johnathan Hankins loves being leader to young Raiders' defensive line

ALAMEDA -- Johnathan Hankins isn’t even 28 years old yet feels like an old man working on the Raiders defensive front. The starting line features two rookies off the edge and a second-year man working next to him inside.

He is an elder statesman in that crew, with plenty of experience in his seventh year out of Ohio State. Hankins is having a blast with a young, developing crew, knowing he must anchor the defensive line and help those around him make plays.

“I’m just trying to do my best to lead the guys,” Hankins said on this week’s Raiders Talk podcast. “I’ve been here longer than most of the guys on this unit, and I try to show them what it takes to be a professional and pass along all the information I learned from the veterans I worked with way back when.”

Hankins is paying it forward now with words and action. His role at defensive tackle often helps create opportunities for others pushing the pocket back and shutting down the opposition’s interior run game.

The Raiders are better in that area thanks in large part to Hankins’ improvement within the system and are certainly thankful last year’s in-season signing has become a permanent fixture upfront.

Hankins was in a weird spot before joining the Raiders last year, cut just a year into a big three-year contract with Indianapolis because the Colts changed defensive schemes.

He found a proper fit in Oakland and was happy to re-up with them this offseason.

“There was a lot going on after I got released by the Colts, and I was trying to find a place that fits well with me and finding an organization that wanted me,” Hankins said. “That’s what it boiled to, and it has really worked out with the Raiders.”

[RELATED: Mullen's confidence grows as he develops on the job]

Hankins considers it destiny that he’s Raiders, the same team name he had as a 6-year old running back and kicker growing up in Detroit and nearby Dearborn, Mich. That’s where he grew (quite literally) into the dominant defensive force that earned an Ohio State scholarship and a second-round NFL draft slot.

“I’m just enjoying this ride,” Hankins said. “I’m trying to be at my best and show everyone watching that I’m still one of the best defensive tackles in this league. The goal is to get to 12 years, and I think I’m on my way.”