Brown’s relationship with the Pittsburgh Steelers soured by the end of the 2018 season, and in March 2019 they traded him to the Oakland Raiders, who cut him before he could suit up for a game. He later spent about two weeks with the New England Patriots, with whom he played one game. The Patriots released Brown amid allegations by two women of rape, sexual assault and intimidation. Brown, who has been under investigation by the NFL, denied the allegations in his conversation with Anderson.
Later in the ESPN interview, Anderson asked Brown if he owed anyone in the league an apology.
“I think I owe the whole NFL an apology [for] my past behavior,” he replied. “I think I could have done a lot of things better.”
Anderson followed up, asking if Brown felt he owed an apology to “any of the women” he had been in a conflict with.
“I feel like I never really got in a conflict with no woman,” Brown replied. “I just feel like I’m a target so, anybody can come against me and say anything and I’m going to have to face it. There’s no support, there’s no egos, there’s no rules in it, anyone can come after me for anything. No proof or whatever. ‘He said, she’s saying.’
“The media will run with it, so even if I’m not guilty, I already guilty because they already wrote it, put it on TV and put that in people minds. So for me to have to sit here and hear those the allegations of me is just unfair to me every time.”
In January, he directed a profanity-filled outburst at the mother of his children and members of the Hollywood, Fla., police department, which severed ties between Brown and a youth sports league they sponsored together. He was also arrested after an alleged physical altercation at his home in South Florida.
Asked by Anderson if he needed mental health care, Brown responded: “We all need mental help from our friends, from the people we hang around, from the people we consult with everyday. Yeah, we need mental help.
“I’m like an animal in a cage. Everyone just talks about me. I can’t go out of my house in private. Everything I do is in the face of people, in the face of someone talking, someone making an assumption about me.”
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell at his annual state of the league news conference said the NFL and players’ union planned to make “a tremendous amount of resources” available to Brown to “help get him on the right track and get him in a position where he is in a zone where he thinks he can be successful in life.”
Goodell said the league was concerned with Brown’s “well-being.”
Brown told Anderson, “I’ll believe it when we see it,” when asked if he thought that concern was genuine.
“When you are out of the NFL, you’re not their property. They don’t really help you,” he said, adding that he has not received any of the mental health resources to which Goodell alluded. “I was pleased to hear that after 140 days that there was some positivity about me, because as of late I’ve just been the cancer of the NFL, the problem child, the guy who gets in trouble, the kind of guy who has the bad narrative about him.”
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