What's wrong with Antonio Brown's helmet?
Antonio Brown, no stranger to absurdity, really stepped it up on Friday with the latest news that the receiver is reportedly ready to quit playing football if the league doesn't let him wear his preferred helmet.
Brown reportedly believes the new helmet, which NFL rules require him to wear, "protrudes out and interferes with his vision as he tries to catch football," according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
What's the big difference between Brown's preferred helmet and the NFL-approved helmets? Basically, his preferred helmet is too old.
Per a league source, Brown's preferred helmet - a Schutt AiR Advantage - cannot be worn this season because it is not certified by the National Operating Committee for Standards and Athletic Equipment. The helmet is not certified by NOCSAE because it is more than 10 years old.
Before the 2018 regular season, the NFL banned the use of certain helmet models and allowed players a one-year grace period to transition. At the end of last season, there were 32 players wearing banned helmets. In April, a league official said that this season teams could be subject to discipline if found to have known about a player wearing a banned helmet.
Schefter reported Brown has filed a grievance with the league. The outcome could be determined "as early as next week," ESPN reports.
Michael Rosen is an SFGATE homepage editor. Email: [email protected].