SportsPulse: Lorenzo is looking to bounce back after his first sub .500 week of the season. Here are his best bets for Week 7 in the NFL.
How very NFL to mark Domestic Violence Awareness Month by welcoming Antonio Brown back to the league.
While Tom Brady is counting future touchdowns and Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians is salivating at the yardage his offense will pile up, I’m thinking of a few other stats. Like the two women who’ve accused Brown of sexual misconduct, one of whom alleges he raped her. The one woman who said he pushed her, causing her to fall and get scraped up.
And don’t forget the eight-game suspension Brown is currently serving, based in part on intimidating texts he sent to one of the women accusing him of sexual misconduct.
Think of those numbers the next time the NFL plasters pink ribbons all over its website and floods its online stores with pink merchandise. As if that’s supposed to give the NFL a pass on its continuing abysmal treatment of what is now almost half of its fan base.
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In this Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, photo, New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown waits for the team’s NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins to begin in Miami Gardens, Fla. (Photo: DAVID SANTIAGO, AP)
Time and again, the NFL has made it very clear that so long as a player can produce on the field, it doesn’t matter if he beats women or degrades them when he’s off it. The NFL is purely transactional, and the health, safety and well-being of women don’t figure anywhere into those equations.
What makes Brown’s signing Friday all the more galling is the team that did it.
Arians is, by far, the league’s most progressive coach when it comes to inclusion. All three of his coordinators are Black men. He hired the NFL’s first female assistant coach, Jen Welter, back in 2015, and has two women on his staff this year.
Brady regularly posts gushing tributes to his wife, mother and sister. He posted a photo of his wife and daughter in honor of International Women’s Day last spring and one of his daughter on National Daughters Day last month.
And yet, Brady is so desperate to prove he can win a Super Bowl without Bill Belichick that he had no qualms vouching for a man with a documented history of demeaning women and multiple allegations of abuse. Lobbied for a former “teammate” he barely knows and played with even less.
Never mind that Arians, who worked with Brown in Pittsburgh, insisted in March that the receiver wouldn’t end up in Tampa Bay.
“It’s not a fit in our locker room,” Arians said then.
Gronkowski (shoulder) was a limited participant in Thursday’s practice.
As anticipated, Gronkowski was back at practice after he sat out Wednesday’s session due to the shoulder issue. Prior to that session, coach Bruce Arians characterized Gronkowski’s absence as a veteran’s day off, so the Buccaneers don’t seem to harbor any real concern about his status for Sunday’s game in Las Vegas. The Buccaneers will wait and see if Gronkowski is able to upgrade to full participation Friday before determining whether he’ll carry a designation into the weekend.