Antonio Brown has had his latest helmet grievance heard.
The Raiders receiver has continued to fight for the right to wear his preferred helmet, a Schutt AiR Advantage that has been discontinued, and is generally considered too old to be traditionally certified. Last week, it failed an independent safety test.
His first grievance to wear this helmet was denied on Aug. 12 by an independent arbitrator, but he filed a second one on Monday. That hearing was held on Friday morning, a league source told NBC Sports Bay Area, with a ruling expected early next week. ESPN was first to report the news.
Brown is arguing that, since the Schutt AiR Advantage wasn’t formally banned by the NFL/NFLPA, he wasn’t given a one-year grace period afforded several others now forced to switch helmets. He has also claimed that the NFL/NFLPA is randomly applying the rule regarding his helmet situation.
A ruling is expected soon. His first grievance was filed on Aug. 9 and ruled upon the next business day, with a weekend in between.
A second ruling could come in a similar fashion.
As usual, the NFL and the NFLPA had representatives in the hearing. Brown participated by phone.
Brown believed he found a loophole that would allow him to wear the Schutt AiR Advantage, if he could find a model made less than 10 years ago. He found a few, but they were subject to lab testing, a rule that surprised Brown’s camp. Then that helmet failed a test, essentially banning all models of the helmet.
In theory, this should grievance should be it.
Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told ESPN that Brown won’t miss time with the Raiders regardless of the arbitrator’s ruling. He has been wearing a Schutt Vengence Z10 helmet, an approved and certified helmet, in recent football activity where a helmet is required.