The New England Patriots and the Oakland Raiders were reportedly unaware Antonio Brown and his his former personal trainer’s representatives were in discussions over the last few months ahead of a civil lawsuit filed against the star accusing him of rape and sexual assault.
Both teams would not have known of the talks unless there was a breach of confidentiality of those talks, ESPN reported Thursday, citing sources. Britney Taylor, Brown’s former personal trainer, accused the Patriots player of sexually assaulting and raping her three times between 2017 and 2018.
The suit was filed in federal court in Florida on Tuesday. It wasn’t clear what the nature of the talks was between Brown and Taylor’s representatives. ESPN noted it is commonplace for such discussions to take place before the filing of a civil suit.
Taylor is set to meet with the NFL next week and Brown plans to meet with the league at some point, according to ESPN.
The Patriots released a statement saying that the team is aware of the allegations and will monitor the league's investigation.
“We take these allegations very seriously,” the statement said. “Under no circumstance does this organization condone sexual violence or assault. The league has informed us that they will be investigating. We will have no further comment while that investigation takes place.”
The Raiders released Brown on Saturday after a rocky six-month tenure with the team.
Brown’s status for Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins is unclear, but the Patriots are reportedly expecting to play him.