FOXBOROUGH — Patriots coach Bill Belichick’s press conference abruptly came to an end Wednesday morning, after repeated questions about the sexual assault and rape allegations against wide receiver Antonio Brown.
Belichick said he expects Brown to be at practice Wednesday afternoon, but he declined to expand on the statements provided by the team Tuesday night.
“Both Antonio and his representatives have made statements,’’ Belichick said at Gillette Stadium. “I’m not going to be expanding on any of those. They are what they are. We’ve looked into the situation and we’re taking it very seriously all the way through the organization. I’m sure there are questions, but I’m not going to get into a discussion about that today.”
Brown has been accused of sexually assaulting and raping his former trainer Britney Taylor, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in the Southern District of Florida.
Belichick kept his remarks focused on New England’s Week 2 matchup against the Miami Dolphins, despite persistent prodding from reporters. Asked if he is expecting Brown to play Sunday, Belichick said the team is taking things one day at a time — “just like [they] always do.’’ Belichick would not say if the allegations will be a factor in the decision to play Brown.
So, are the allegations a distraction?
“We’re working on Miami,’’ Belichick said.
Belichick reiterated the Patriots will say more when they know more. He would not say whether the team was aware of the lawsuit prior to signing Brown on Monday. The approximately four-minute press conference closed with a reporter inquiring about the conversations between Brown and Belichick.
“Can you tell us at all what Antonio Brown has said to you?’’ the reporter asked.
“Yeah, I mean, I’m done with that,’’ replied Belichick. “Anything else about Miami?’’
“Done with it in what way, sir?’’ the reporter continued.
Belichick: “Any other questions?’’
Reporter: “Can you explain what you mean when you’re done with it? I’m just trying to find out if he said anything to you and about the allegations.’’
Belichick: “I just answered that question.’’
Reporter: “Actually, you didn’t.’’
“Actually, I did,’’ Belichick responded before walking away from the podium.