FOXBOROUGH — Patriots coach Bill Belichick’s press conference Wednesday came to an abrupt end after repeated questions about the sexual assault and rape allegations against wide receiver Antonio Brown, who was signed by the team over the weekend.
Belichick said he expected Brown to be at practice Wednesday afternoon, but he declined to expand on a statement provided by the team Tuesday night.
“Both Antonio and his representatives have made statements,” Belichick said. “I’m not going to be expanding on any of those. They are what they are. We’ve looked into the situation and we’re taking it very seriously all the way through the organization. I’m sure there are questions, but I’m not going to get into a discussion about that today.”
Brown has been accused of sexually assaulting and raping his former trainer Britney Taylor, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in the Southern District of Florida.
The Patriots issued the following statement Tuesday night: “We are aware of the civil lawsuit that was filed earlier today against Antonio Brown, as well as the response by Antonio’s representatives. We take these allegations very seriously.
“Under no circumstance does this organization condone sexual violence or assault. The league has informed us that they will be investigating. We will have no further comment while that investigation takes place.”
Belichick kept his remarks Wednesday focused on New England’s Week 2 matchup against the Miami Dolphins, despite persistent questioning about Brown from reporters. Asked if he is expecting Brown to play Sunday, Belichick said the team is taking things one day at a time — “just like we always do.”
Belichick would not say whether the allegations will be a factor in a decision to play Brown.
Asked if the allegations were a distraction, Belichick said, “We’re working on Miami.”
The coach reiterated that the Patriots would say more when they know more. The approximately four-minute press conference closed with a reporter inquiring about conversations between Brown and Belichick.
“Can you tell us at all what Antonio Brown has said to you?” the reporter asked.
“Yeah, I mean, I’m done with that,” replied Belichick. “Anything else about Miami?”
“Done with it in what way, sir?” the reporter continued.
Belichick: “Any other questions?”
Reporter: “Can you explain what you mean when you’re done with it? I’m just trying to find out if he said anything to you about the allegations.”
Belichick: “I just answered that question.”
Reporter: “Actually you didn’t.”
“Actually, I did,” Belichick responded before walking away from the podium.
Here’s what Belichick said about Antonio Brown. To other questions, he said “I’m done with that” and that he’d give more information when he has it. Would not say if the team knew about the lawsuit before signing Brown. pic.twitter.com/vnSYRmavfe— Nora Princiotti (@NoraPrinciotti) September 11, 2019