Report: Antonio Brown threatening to sit unless he can wear outdated helmet deemed unsafe

The Antonio Brown saga in Oakland continues to get stranger.

As the football world digests reports that the wide receiver willingly exposed himself to frostbite by entering a cryotherapy chamber without proper foot protection, he’s now reportedly waging a battle with the Raiders to wear a helmet that has been deemed unsafe the NFL.

Brown threatens to sit over helmet

And according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, he won’t play unless he gets his way about it.

Schefter reported earlier Friday that Brown has filed a grievance with the NFL to wear the same model helmet he wore with the Pittsburgh Steelers. According to the report, the helmet features an outdated design and is not certified by the National Operating Committee for Standards and Athletic Equipment, a certification that the league requires.

Helmet hearing expected next week

A grievance hearing over the helmet originally slated for next week was moved up to Friday, where Brown spent two hours pleading his case, according to the report. An an arbiter will reportedly rule whether or not Brown is allowed to wear his preferred helmet that doesn’t meet modern safety specifications to protect his head.

But that’s just the beginning of this chapter.

NFL Network’s Michael Silver has details of Brown’s battle with the Raiders to wear his preferred helmet. He unleashed the tale in a 20-post Twitter thread Friday afternoon. And it’s a doozy.

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Antonio Brown through his career
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Antonio Brown through his career
PITTSBURGH, PA - CIRCA 2010: In this handout image provided by the NFL, Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers poses for his 2010 NFL headshot circa 2010 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by NFL via Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 21: Antonio Brown #84 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates celebrates during the game against the Oakland Raiders on November 21, 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 15: Wide receiver Antonio Brown #84 of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs with the ball after a catch against the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Heinz Field on January 15, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 18: Wide receiver Antonio Brown #84 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on from the sideline during a preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Heinz Field on August 18, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Steelers defeated the Eagles 24-14. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 06: Antonio Brown #84 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates following a catch for a first down against the Baltimore Ravens during the game on November 6, 2011 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 16: Antonio Brown #84 of the Pittsburgh Steelers reacts after making a catch in the second half against the New York Jets during the game on September 16, 2012 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Steelers defeated the Jets 27-10. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 10: Antonio Brown #84 of the Pittsburgh Steelers makes a catch in the end zone that was over turned as a touchdown in the first half against Corey Webster #23 of the New York Giants during the game on August 10, 2013 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 28: Wide receiver Antonio Brown #84 of the Pittsburgh Steelers smiles as he looks on from the sideline during a preseason game against the Carolina Panthers at Heinz Field on August 28, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Panthers defeated the Steelers 10-0. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 30: Antonio Brown #84 of the Pittsburgh Steelers signs autographs before the game against the New Orleans Saints on November 30, 2014 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 25: Team Carter wide receiver Antonio Brown #84 of the Pittsburgh Steelers warms up before the 2015 Pro Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 25, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - JANUARY 31: Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown attends the 2015 NFL Honors at Phoenix Convention Center on January 31, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 15: Antonio Brown #84 of the Pittsburgh Steelers scores a 2-point conversion during the 2nd quarter of the game against the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field on November 15, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 27, 2015: Wide receiver Antonio Brown #84 of the Pittsburgh Steelers smiles at fans prior to a game against the Baltimore Ravens on December 27, 2015 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland. Baltimore won 20-17. (Photo by: Nick Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 09: Antonio Brown #84 of the Pittsburgh Steelers warms up prior to playing the New York Jets at Heinz Field on October 9, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 13: Pittsburgh Steelers Wide Receiver Antonio Brown (84) catches a pass during warmups before the NFL Football game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers on November 13, 2016, at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, PA. The Cowboys defeated the Steelers with a final score of 35-30. (Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ORCHARD PARK, NY - DECEMBER 11: Antonio Brown #84 of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs with the ball after a catch against the Buffalo Bills during the second half at New Era Field on December 11, 2016 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 08: Antonio Brown #84 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates after scoring his second touchdown during the first quarter against the Miami Dolphins in the AFC Wild Card game at Heinz Field on January 8, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 10: Antonio Brown #84 of the Pittsburgh Steelers in action against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on September 10, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - OCTOBER 01: Wide receiver Antonio Brown #84 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on before a game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on October 1, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 12: Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) takes a selfie with a fan before the NFL game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts on November 12, 2017, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 16: Pittsburgh Steelers Wide Receiver Antonio Brown (84) looks on during the game between the Tennessee Titans and the Pittsburgh Steelers on November 16, 2017 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pa. (Photo by Mark Alberti/ Icon Sportswire)
PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 14: Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) looks on during the AFC Divisional Playoff game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Pittsburgh Steelers on January 14, 2018 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pa. (Photo by Mark Alberti/ Icon Sportswire)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - FEBRUARY 03: NFL player Antonio Brown attends the 2018 Big Game Weekend Hearing Mission With Starkey Hearing Technologies on February 3, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images for Starkey Hearing Technologies)
Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown, center, holds his jersey beside coach Jon Gruden, left, and general manager Mike Mayock during an NFL football news conference Wednesday, March 13, 2019, in Alameda, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Oakland Raiders coach Jon Gruden, left, and wide receiver Antonio Brown listen to questions from the media during an NFL football news conference, Wednesday, March 13, 2019, in Alameda, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown runs during an official team activity at the NFL football team's headquarters in Alameda, Calif., Tuesday, May 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
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The dirty details

The short version is that Brown has been battling with the team over wearing the helmet since OTAs, baffling teammates and management alike while taking multiple surreptitious tacks to sneak said unsafe helmet onto the practice field.

And while his frostbitten feet have been getting all the attention, it’s his helmet that’s been the real source of discord with the team.

Here are some of the highlights.

Brown made a spectacle around the team over his displeasure with the helmet mandate:

Brown harped on the issue repeatedly, even as his frostbitten feet became apparent:

“The most insane thing I have ever heard:”

Brown “stormed out” because he wasn’t allowed to wear his preferred helmet:

He painted his old helmet to try and fool people:

He tried to sneak his old helmet on the field again:

He went AWOL:

Vision issue?

Schefter later reported that Brown is unsatisfied with newer-model helmets because he believes a protrusion impedes his vision and his ability to catch the football.

He also reported that Brown’s absence from camp was primarily over the helmet conflict, not his frostbitten feet.

The Raiders declined to comment on the helmet situation with Schefter.

The Raiders are “aware and supportive of Antonio Brown but no further comment.”

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