Freshly minted New England Patriot Antonio Brown took the field on Sunday, making his debut for the team just five days after his former trainer filed a lawsuit accusing him of rape and sexual assault.
Speculation had been rife in the days leading up to the game about whether the NFL would compel the Patriots to bench their new wide receiver in light of the allegations.
But Brown, who signed with the team last week after his controversial release from the Oakland Raiders, was anything but sidelined. He played a prominent role in the Patriots’ thrashing of the Miami Dolphins, catching four passes from quarterback Tom Brady, including one for a 20-yard touchdown.
The Patriots bested the Dolphins 43-0.
The Patriots said in a statement that it takes allegations of sexual assault “very seriously” but said it would not offer further comment until the NFL concludes its probe into the case.
Britney Taylor, the former trainer of Brown’s who filed suit against him, is reportedly scheduled to meet with NFL investigators this week.
Taylor, who filed her lawsuit Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, has accused the NFL player of sexually assaulting her on two occasions in 2017. She said Brown forced her onto a bed and raped her in 2018.
Brown has vehemently denied Taylor’s accusations. His attorney Darren Heitner said in a statement that Brown believes he’s a victim of a “money grab.”