by Alex Poletti
In the first leak from wide receiver Antonio Brown’s legal team, the public received news that the defense in Brown’s civil suit consists entirely of his receiving numbers over the course of his NFL career. According to documents sent to The Second String, Brown has neither pled guilty or not guilty; he’s just pled that he’s good at football.
“We think a lot of athletes miss the boat when it comes to legal defense in cases like this,” Brown’s lawyer Darren Heitner says. “It’s not about guilt or innocence. It’s not about evidence. If people don’t think we can win this case based solely on Antonio Brown’s receiving ability, they clearly aren’t familiar with the United States legal system.”
Brown’s accuser, college gymnast Britney Taylor, is seeking compensatory damages in the suit. The lawsuit details two accounts of sexual assault and one instance of forced sex. When the news broke that a civil suit was underway, Brown was a member of the New England Patriots. In a surprising act of decency, the Patriots have since released their star receiver.
“That threw a wrench in our plans, no question about it,” Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, says. “When Robert Kraft found out, we thought he’d sign us to an extension. Clearly, this was not how we expected an NFL team to act.”
The information received from the legal team also includes an audio snippet of Heitner’s opening statement in the civil matter. Rather than venture into case law, the burden of proof or evidence, the attorney reads aloud a stat sheet.
“Five Pro Bowls. 11,263 yards. Over 10 touchdowns four times. The league leader in receptions twice,” Heitner orates in a dramatic tone. “Does this sound like a rapist? We really don’t care. I mean, look at those fucking stats, man.”
After listing several other accolades and entering clips from a few “30 for 30” episodes, Heitner confronted the jury with the defense’s theme.
“If he’s got good hands, don’t reprimand,” Heitner repeats.
Although the legal theory seems unorthodox, Heitner explains that it has precedent in real cases throughout history.
“I think there are two glaring examples,” the sports attorney says. “Look at OJ and Aaron Hernandez. Why did one walk free while the other sat behind bars? It wasn’t because of their defenses. It was because OJ was one of the best running backs in history and Aaron Hernandez never caught for 1,000 yards. Playing good football is the equivalent of a Monopoly ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ card.”
Regardless of the outcome of the case, the question remains if any team will take the risk of signing Brown, given his legal history and cancerous personality.
“I think he’s still going to be an NFL player,” Rosenhaus says. “The Browns signed Kareem Hunt and the Chiefs kept Tyreek Hill. Clearly, there are still places with no shame in this league.”