Antonio Brown has been in the new cycle constantly for the past month and periodically over the past year for his antics on and off the football field. He has committed acts of selfishness whether it consists of temper tantrums, frostbite on his feet or calling out coaches and teammates on social media and, although these are distractions, they aren’t real crimes.

Britney Taylor, a former gymnast at the University of Central Michigan, met Brown in college and over the years built a relationship to the point Taylor became a personal trainer for Brown. The date their relationship went from friendly to professional is not known; however Taylor has accused Brown of sexually assaulting her on two occasions in 2017 and forcefully raping her in 2018. Taylor has made herself readily available to all media and the NFL alike to state her side of the story and has chosen to not go the route of anonymity and attack the situation head on.

Brown has released a statement through his lawyer, Darren Heitner, and is adamant of his innocence and called Taylor’s claims of assault a “money grab.” According to Brown, Taylor asked him for $1.6 million to start a business but allegedly planned to use a large percentage to buy personal property, at which point Brown refused to invest in Taylor’s company. Brown’s statement also included him admitting the two did have a sexual relation together, but it was consensual.

Wednesday, Brown began his first practice with the New England Patriots who signed him the same day he was released by the Oakland Raiders. New England knew about Antonio’s problems when it came to locker room antics; however it did not know about the sexual assault and rape accusations or it probably would not have signed him. Brown is one of the best wide receivers the NFL has ever seen with six years of more than 100 catches and in those six years snagging 67 touchdowns — a feat the other best wide receivers like Atlanta Falcon Julio Jones and Cleveland Browns’ Odell Beckham Jr. haven’t produced.

I found myself in a similar situation when I was falsely accused of rape at a Halloween party my freshman year of college at Troy University. The girl confessed it wasn’t true after I was detained in front of all of my friends as well as everyone else at the party.

I was taken to the campus police station while I waited for a rape kit to show up and the police to arrive. For about a 45-minute period I felt like my life was over, even when I returned with proved innocence. But thankfully everyone knew my character and knew I couldn’t do something like that to begin with.

The female who accused me however was not given any punishment for what she did and that always resonated with me because it is the ones like her who are doing injustice to all the females who are being assaulted.

League sources are speculating Brown will end up on the commissioner’s exempt list, which means he would get paid but not play until taken off that list which is whenever commissioner Roger Goodell decides. The Florida authorities and the NFL are looking into the situation with full cooperation from Taylor.

If Brown is guilty of what Taylor claims, his time in the league will most likely be done — and it deserves to be, even if he is the best in the game. It is a privilege to play in the NFL and you can be black balled from it — just ask Ray Rice and Greg Hardy.

On the other hand, if Taylor is lying, it does a huge injustice to women who are being mistreated and an accusation like that should come with consequences.

Ryne Gallacher is a regular columnist and correspondent for The Outlook.