Antonio Brown Is Released by Patriots, Following Nike Decision

(Bloomberg) -- The New England Patriots released receiver Antonio Brown, who has been accused of sexual assault and was dropped a day earlier by Nike Inc.

“The New England Patriots are releasing Antonio Brown,” the team said in an email. “We appreciate the hard work of many people over the past 11 days, but we feel that it is best to move in a different direction at this time.”

Antonio Brown Is Released by Patriots, Following Nike Decision

The Patriots briefly looked like they’d made a shrewd move when they snapped up Brown after he’d been waived by the Oakland Raiders. But accusations of sexual assault, including a rape allegation by the athlete’s former trainer, dogged the Patriots.

Nike split with Brown on Thursday, without elaborating on the reasons for ending its association with him as an endorser.

Brown, 31, was released by the Oakland Raiders on Sept. 7 and immediately signed to a one-year contract by the Patriots, the defending NFL champions. Days later, former trainer Britney Taylor filed a civil lawsuit accusing Brown of sexually assaulting and raping her. Brown has denied the allegations.

“It’s unfortunate things didn’t work out with the Patriots,” Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said on Twitter. “But Antonio is healthy and is looking forward to his next opportunity in the NFL. He wants to play the game he loves and he hopes to play for another team soon.”

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