Arbitrator rules against Antonio Brown in helmet grievance

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Oakland Raiders receiver Antonio Brown lost his helmet grievance against the NFL. An arbitrator ruled against Brown on Monday, USA Today’s Mike Jones first reported.

Brown, 31, filed a grievance against the league so he could wear his old helmet. The model Brown was hoping to wear was deemed unsafe by the NFL. The league officially phazed out Brown’s preferred helmet during the offseason.

Brown has been battling both the league and the Raiders over that decision. He reportedly showed up to team activities with his old helmet painted with Raiders’ colors. When the Raiders told him he could not do that, Brown threatened to sit out the entire season unless he could wear his old helmet.

He then filed a grievance against the league arguing he should be allowed to wear his old helmet. Brown reportedly told the NFL he would hold the league liable if he gets injured while wearing a different helmet in 2019.

While Brown has been the most vocal about his helmet frustration, he’s not the only player who doesn’t like the new model. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady also expressed disappointment about having to change equipment, though Brady hasn’t threatened to sit out this season over the issue.

The ruling now shifts the focus back to Brown. The receiver hasn’t practiced with the Raiders due to the helmet issue. He also is dealing with frostbitten feet after a cryotherapy incident. Raiders coach Jon Gruden told said Saturday he supported Brown, and hoped to have him back at practice.

It sounds like that might happen soon. In an Instagram post, Brown said he disagreed with the arbitrators decision, but said he is “looking forward to rejoining my teammates on the field” once he’s healthy.


Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik

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