The wide receiver made his debut for the team on Sunday as the National Football League investigates the allegations against him

By Claudia Harmata
September 15, 2019 06:30 PM
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Credit: Lynne Sladky/AP/Shutterstock

Antonio Brown made his first touchdown for the New England Patriots on Sunday.

The wide receiver, 31, caught a 20-yard pass from quarterback Tom Brady that gave the Patriots a 13-0 lead over the Miami Dolphins with 79 seconds left in the second quarter. Brown caught the pass, using his momentum to jump into the sidelines in celebration. It was his only touchdown of the day.

Prior to the game, the Patriots submitted their inactive player list, which did not include Brown, indicating that he would be making his debut for the team amid sexual assault allegations against him.

On Sept. 10, just hours after it was announced that the Patriots had signed Brown to a one-year contract worth up to $15 million with a $9 million signing bonus, a federal lawsuit was filed against the NFL player by his former trainer, who identifies herself as Britney Taylor in the suit.

Taylor alleges that Brown sexually assaulted her on two separate occasions and raped her during a third, according to The New York Times. She met Brown while they were both attending Central Michigan together. He later hired her as his personal trainer.

According to the civil lawsuit, Taylor alleges that Brown sexually assaulted her twice during training sessions in June 2017, the Times reported. The first time, Brown allegedly exposed himself and kissed her without her permission. That same month, he allegedly masturbated behind her and ejaculated on her back.

Then, on May 20, 2018, Brown allegedly raped Taylor, forcing her onto a bed and pushing her face into a mattress.

In response to the lawsuit, Brown’s attorney, Darren Heitner, released a statement denying “each and every allegation.”

“He will pursue all legal remedies to not only clear his name, but to also protect other professional athletes against false accusations,” Heitner said, and later added that “any sexual interaction” Taylor had “with Mr. Brown was entirely consensual.”

The National Football League is investigating the allegations and will reportedly meet with Taylor on Monday, and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said the team is taking the sexual assault allegations against Brown “very seriously,” according to the NFL Network.

The Patriots went on to win their game against the Dolphins on Sunday in a sweeping 43-0.