Antonio Brown‘s latest problem may arise from the failure to disclose his latest problem to the NFL.
The NFL didn’t previously know about Brown’s October 15 incident, according to the NFL’s in-house media conglomerate. If that’s true, and surely it is since it’s coming from the NFL directly, the NFL has separate grounds for disciplining Brown.
Even though Brown was not arrested or charged, the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy imposes a broad, mandatory reporting obligation on any player involved in any incident that could be a violation of the Personal Conduct Policy.
“Failure to report an incident will be grounds for disciplinary action,” the league’s Personal Conduct Policy explains. “This obligation to report is broader than simply reporting an arrest; it requires reporting to the league any incident that comes to the club’s or player’s attention which, if the allegations were true, would constitute a violation of the Policy.”
In other words, the fact that Brown was involved in an incident that created sufficient probable cause to arrest him for misdemeanor criminal mischief imposed on Brown an obligation to let the league know about it, even if charges ultimately weren’t pressed. It’s also safe to assume that, given Brown’s extended history of off-field issues, someone from the NFL made sure at some point to make sure Brown knew to immediately contact the league office in the event that Brown had any other incidents, whether or not he was arrested.
Even without that extra layer of admonition, Brown had a duty to let the league know about the October 15 incident. He apparently did not. That could be enough to result in the league taking swift and immediate action against Brown, if the league is inclined to do so.
Ultimately, that’s what it comes down to. The league has crafted the ability to do whatever it wants, whenever it wants, however it wants regarding any and all incidents of player misconduct. And so, with Brown, the league will in this case do whatever it wants, whenever it wants, however it wants.