Antonio Brown really, really wants to wear the helmet he's worn most of his athletic life, and isn't taking no for an answer.
The superstar Raiders receiver has filed a second grievance against the ruling refusing his request to wear the Schutt Air Advantage helmet which has been discontinued and has not been certified by the NOCSAE, according to Pro Football Talk. The independent body that regulates athletic safety does don't certify helmets more than 10 years old for use.
Per source, Antonio Brown has filed a new grievance against the NFL over its attempt to prevent him from wearing any Schutt AiR Advantage helmet less than 10 years old.— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) August 20, 2019
AB’s initial grievance was denied by an independent arbitrator assigned by the NFL and NFLPA on Aug. 12. He thought he found a loophole. His representatives believed he could wear his preferred helmet if he found one less than 10 years old and could get it re-conditioned. Brown's camp crowd-sourced the effort and acquired several helmets that fit that description.
They submitted a 2011 model, which the NFL and NFLPA mandated be re-tested by an Ottowa-based laboratory. The helmet failed that test. That failure essentially banned the Schutt Air Advantage from use, with the steadfast belief that other models -- Brown also had helmets from 2010 and 2014, per NFL Network -- would also fail tests. The Schutt Air Advantage was not on the NFL/NFLPA list of prohibited helmets sent out in April because it was never tested due to it being outdated. The failed test of the 2011 model essentially banned that helmet from use.
Brown was informed of the Air Advantage's failed test, and he expressed displeasure with that news on social media using inappropriate terms. After proving healthy enough to join the Raiders for pregame warmups before Thursday's exhibition at Arizona and two Saturday walk-through practices, which are conducted without helmets, he left the Raiders training camp facility and did not practice Sunday with his team.
That prompted Raiders general manager Mike Mayock to release a statement Sunday, with a clear message that Brown needs to decide whether he is “all-in or all-out." Brown rejoined the team Monday morning for a team meeting as training camp broke, but his helmet fight was far from over.
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This grievance, according to PFT, argues that Brown wasn't given a one-year grace period that others received to wear outdated helmets, or those no longer certified. Because the Schutt Air Advantage wasn't previously banned, Brown could argue he never used the grace period. According to NFLN, Brown's grievance could be heard soon.
It's ultimately uncertain if Brown will practice with the Raiders on Tuesday, considering his helmet issue remains up in the air. He has a strong allegiance to the helmet, claiming it helps his vision.