Report: Antonio Brown threatens to retire over helmet issue
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Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown told team officials that he won't play football again unless he can wear his old helmet, league sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Brown reportedly filed a grievance against the NFL in an attempt to keep wearing his preferred helmet, a 10-year-old model which is now banned. The wideout had a two-hour conference call with league officials Friday in which he argued for wearing the old model, sources said.

The NFL could reportedly make a decision as early as next week.

Brown's helmet-related beef has been the primary reason for his recent absences from training camp, league sources told Schefter. Those absences were previously believed to be due to foot issues, as a cryogenic chamber mishap reportedly gave him numerous blisters that haven't gone away.

"He's still freaking out about it," an anonymous Raiders player told Michael Silver of NFL Network about Brown's helmet dispute. "He hasn't been here for a while, and no one knows where he's at."

After initial conflicts with Raiders officials over the helmet at OTAs, sources told Silver that Brown eventually accepted a new helmet, but in the following weeks, repainted the old helmet with colors approximating but not mimicking Oakland's design and attempted to wear it in practice. He apparently tried to wear the repainted helmet again at training camp, Silver adds.

The helmet that Brown wore throughout his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers is one of the models that was recently outlawed by the NFL because it's no longer certified by the National Operating Committee for Standards and Athletic Equipment.

In an effort to prevent head injuries, the NFL has spent the last few years increasing helmet safety standards, forcing some players to change models. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is among the veterans who've needed to adjust to new prototypes.

Should a player wear one of the outlawed helmets, the team is subject to league discipline, not the player, adds ESPN's Kevin Seifert.

Citing witnesses, Silver also reported that Brown has frustrated his new team by being tardy to meetings and spending portions of them using his phone to fiddle on Instagram and check his bank accounts.

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Report: Antonio Brown threatens to retire over helmet issue
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