Patriots release Antonio Brown hours after Nike drops him

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 15: Antonio Brown #17 of the New England Patriots during warmups before the start of the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on September 15, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — After Nike dropped receiver Antonio Brown, the New England Patriots followed suit.

Nike spokesman Josh Benedek told The Associated Press on Friday, “Antonio Brown is not a Nike athlete.” The move comes after a second woman accused Brown of sexual assault. He was already facing accusations of rape by a former trainer.

Through his attorney, Brown has denied the allegations. He declined to answer questions about the accusations in the Patriots locker room Thursday. Nike’s decision was first reported by the Boston Globe.

Hours later, the Patriots cut Brown, providing the following statement to reporter Adam Schefter:

“The New England Patriots are releasing Antonio Brown. 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.”

Brown played one game for the Patriots after requesting a trade from the Oakland Raiders. He previously played for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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