- Antonio Brown’s time with the Oakland Raiders is off to a weird start.
- According to reports, Brown is absent from training camp because of frustrations with the NFL’s new helmet rules, which will force him to change helmets this year.
- Brown reportedly went as far as to repaint his old helmet in an effort to keep wearing it on the practice field.
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Antonio Brown has had a weird first few days of training camp.
After landing in Napa, California, on a hot-air balloon to begin his career as an Oakland Raider, Brown was forced to hold back during his first few practices because of a foot injury.
Later reports would reveal that that foot injury came after Brown got into a cryotherapy machine without the proper footwear and suffered frostbite.
On Friday, things took an even stranger turn, when it was revealed that Brown had been absent from Raiders training camp in large part because of frustration with his helmet.
Essentially, the NFL phased out the helmet that Brown has worn for his entire career in an effort to keep players safer. Brown had repeatedly been given other options of helmets to try out but continued to fight to keep his old one, even going as far as filing a grievance with the league over the matter.
While legal action might seem extreme, it’s not even the most outlandish effort Brown made in his quest to keep his helmet.
According to NFL Network’s Mike Silver, Brown had attempted to repaint his old helmet “with colours approximating – but not completely mimicking – the Raiders’ silver-and-black design” in order to sneak it onto the field but was caught and told once again that his helmet was no longer allowed.
13) However, sometime in the next couple of weeks, Brown once again tried to take the field with his old helmet, which he had since had repainted with colors approximating—but not completely mimicking—the Raiders’ silver-and-black design…
— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) August 9, 2019
We don’t know who was responsible for the failed paint job or how far out onto the field Brown made it before being called out for his ersatz headgear, but the story does demonstrate just how far Brown seems willing to go to keep his beloved helmet.
Making matters even weirder is the fact that the Raiders are being featured on HBO’s “Hard Knocks,” meaning NFL fans should get an up-close look at this drama as it unfolds over the next few weeks.
Hopefully, Brown finds peace with the new helmet in the near future and can get back on the field with his teammates.
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