Antonio Brown’s people indicated the Oakland Raiders wideout would consider not playing this season if he weren’t allowed to wear his old helmet model, and now it’s time to see if he’s bluffing or not. On Monday, word broke that the wideout who had asked for an exemption to the NFL’s updated helmet guidelines would not get that waiver to use the model he’s played in his entire career.
According to to two sources, the arbitrator has ruled against Antonio Brown in his grievance to wear the old helmet.
— Mike Jones (@ByMikeJones) August 12, 2019
The arbitration hearing revolved around the issue that’s reportedly kept Brown away from Raiders camp as the regular season draws near. Though initially thought to be mostly caused by frostbite injuries suffered during cryotherapy, Friday brought reports that Brown was also upset about new rules that will require notable players like Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and himself to wear different helmet models after some older models were not recertified by the league.
An arbitrator ruled against Raiders’ WR Antonio Brown’s grievance to wear his old helmet, per source.
Now Brown must decide if he’s willing to play football with a new helmet he desperately does not want to wear.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 12, 2019
Brown had reportedly threatened not to play at all if he couldn’t wear his old Schutt AiR Advantage, which was made in 2011 and discontinued after it failed to pass new safety requirements. But on Monday, in the wake of the ruling against him, Brown posted a message on Instagram indicating that he would be playing this year.
Quoting himself and addressing the concerns over his foot injury, Brown says the matter is #biggerthanme but said he’s looking forward to playing this season with his new Raider teammates.
“While I disagree with the arbitrator’s decision, I’m working on getting back to full health and looking forward to rejoining my teammates on the field. I’m excited about this season appreciate all the concerns about my feet 🦶!” #AlwaysAFight #Represent #itsbiggerthanme
There’s no initial word on what helmet Brown will wear once he hits the field, but it does seem that he plans to play this year. Whenever he picks out a new model and recovers from his foot problems, of course.