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Antonio Brown settles sexual assault lawsuit involving his former trainer

Antonio Brown is currently a free agent.
Antonio Brown is currently a free agent.Brett Duke/Associated Press

Antonio Brown has reportedly settled a dispute with his former trainer, Britney Taylor, who had accused the receiver of sexual assault.

“Antonio and Britney have been friends for over a decade,” Taylor’s attorney, David Haas, said in a statement released to ESPN. “Several years ago they almost became business partners. Recently, they were involved in aggressive litigation. Having reflected on their relationship, both feel that the time has come to move on.

“Antonio is grateful for Britney’s excellent training assistance. They are pleased that Antonio is doing so well with the Bucs and has a ring. Their dispute is resolved and they wish each other great continued success.”

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In the initial suit, filed in 2019, Taylor alleged Brown had sexually assaulted her on three occasions, saying there were two assaults during training sessions in June 2017, and one in May 2018.

According to Taylor’s initial suit, the two met in college as part of a Bible study group and became friends. They went their separate ways, it alleged, before they connected again in June 2017. Shortly after that, Brown hired Taylor as part of his physical training team.

Brown would later countersue for defamation.

Antonio Brown had 45 catches last season with Tampa Bay.
Antonio Brown had 45 catches last season with Tampa Bay.Kevin Sabitus/Associated Press

Brown, who agreed to a contract with the Patriots on Sept. 7, 2019, was released by New England shortly after Taylor’s initial lawsuit was filed later that month. After sitting out for the rest of the 2019 season, the receiver signed with the Buccaneers last year and finished with 45 catches for 483 yards and four touchdowns as Tampa Bay won the Super Bowl.

Brown is currently a free agent.

Fields has epilepsy

Former Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields told teams he has epilepsy, according to a report from NFL.com, but the condition reportedly has never affected his play.

Per NFL.com, Fields was diagnosed with epilepsy as a child, and his symptoms have decreased as he has gotten older. Epilepsy can cause seizures, but Fields has not experienced them with the help of medication. Other family members have grown out of the condition, and doctors are reportedly “confident” Fields will do so, as well.

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Fields did not miss a game in college, although teams have inquired as to whether he might be at greater risk if he suffers a concussion, according to NFL.com.

Ohio State coach Ryan Day weighed in on Twitter, praising Fields’s durability.

“Justin’s health, toughness, and work ethic have never been an issue and I am incredibly proud of his professionalism and the character he displays on and off the field,” Day tweeted. “The fact that he never missed a game at Ohio State speaks volumes about how he takes care of himself.”

Fields is projected to be a first-round pick in next week’s NFL Draft.

Floyd’s brother thanks Raiders

The brother of George Floyd thanked the Las Vegas Raiders for their support after owner Mark Davis issued a statement on Twitter that drew backlash following the conviction of a police officer who killed Floyd.

Philonise Floyd issued a statement through the family’s attorney on Wednesday, a day after the tweet sent on the team’s official account saying “I CAN BREATHE 4-20-21.”

George Floyd told officers, “I can’t breathe,” more than 20 times before he was killed when Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck last May. Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter on Tuesday for causing Floyd’s death.

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“On behalf of our family, I would like to extend our deepest gratitude to the Las Vegas Raiders organization and its leadership for their support of our family and for our nation’s ongoing pursuit of justice and equality for all,” Philonise Floyd said. “Now, more than ever, we must come together as one and continue on in this fight. For the first time in almost a year, our family has taken a breath. And I know that goes for so many across the nation and globe, as well. Let’s take this breath together in honor of my big brother who couldn’t. Let’s do it for George.”

The tweet from the Raiders drew backlash on Twitter. The phrase “I can breathe” was used by supporters of police in New York after the death of Eric Garner in 2014. Davis said he wouldn’t have used that phrase if he knew the history but chose not to delete the tweet.

“It’s a tough situation,” he said in a telephone interview Tuesday night. “I feel bad it was taken in a way it wasn’t meant to be done. That can only be my fault for not explaining it.”

Davis said he was driving when the verdict was announced and heard Floyd’s brother, Philonise, make the statement that “we can all breathe again” and decided to make that message the team’s response.

“It was taken negatively by 99 percent of the people,” Davis said. “That happens. That’s part of social media.”

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Smith turns self in

Aldon Smith turned himself in to authorities in Louisiana after an arrest warrant had been issued for the Seahawks defensive end. The St. Bernard Parish sheriff’s department said Smith was booked on a second degree battery charge Tuesday night. Officials said Smith was released on $25,000 bond. Smith is scheduled to be arraigned on July 14. The sheriff’s office issued the warrant following an incident last weekend. Deputies responding to a call for medical assistance in Meraux on Saturday found a man who said he had been assaulted by an acquaintance outside a business in Chalmette, Sheriff James Pohlmann said. Detectives identified the suspect as Smith, 31, and took out a warrant. The incident in Louisiana took place just two days after Smith signed a one-year contract with the Seahawks … T.J. Ward, the walk-on at Oregon who became a key part of Denver’s famed “No Fly Zone” secondary that helped the Broncos win Super Bowl 50, announced his retirement. Ward played eight seasons in the NFL, earning All-Rookie honors, two trips to the Pro Bowl, and second-team All-Pro honors. He last played for the Buccaneers in 2017, although he spent a month with the Cardinals last season.

Tom Westerholm of Boston.com contributed to this report, and material from the Associated Press was used.


Christopher Price can be reached at christopher.price@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at cpriceglobe.