Robert Kraft was "enraged" after learning that Antonio Brown sent an intimidating text message to a woman accusing him of sexual misconduct, leading to the wide receiver's swift release from the New England Patriots.
The team announced abruptly on Friday afternoon that Brown had been cut, coming just the day after a report that he sent a text message to a woman who accused him of sexually inappropriate behavior. The woman said she was painting a mural in Brown's home when he approached her from behind, nude and holding a small hand towel to cover his genitals. The woman said she rebuffed his advance and Brown cut off their business arrangement shortly afterward.
This week, after the woman's account was published in Sports Illustrated, her lawyer came forward to say that she received a group text message from a number that Brown had given her. The message asked an associate to investigate the woman, and included pictures of her children that were taken from Instagram.
The NFL confirmed that the number belonged to Brown, and the Patriots moved swiftly to release him. As The Athletic reported, the latest allegation was particularly upsetting to Patriots' owner Robert Kraft. The report noted that Kraft, who was on a business trip at the time the report came out, quickly huddled with coach Bill Belichick, and the two agreed to release Brown.
The report for the first time showed some of the inner workings of Brown's release and the role the team's owner played in it. Kraft has emphasized building a franchise around rigid structure and high expectations for players.
There were signs that the Patriots were upset with Brown even before he was cut. In a press conference on Friday morning, Belichick walked out after being repeatedly asked by reporters about Brown's status with the team. Belichick refused to answer questions beyond a team statement on Brown, but reporters continued to press for updates about a team investigation.
As The Inquisitr reported, there is now doubt about what the future holds for Antonio Brown. ESPN's Adam Schefter said that being released by the Patriots could be a "kiss of death" for Brown, as the Patriots are seen as one of the most disciplined teams, and if Brown could not make it in that rigid structure, there would be little hope for him on other teams.There could be even more trouble ahead for Antonio Brown. The NFL is still in the midst of its investigation of the sexual misconduct claims against him, and he could be facing potential discipline, including a fine or suspension. This would not go into effect until he would be signed by another team, however.