26 June, 2023
According to the Albany Times Union, the coaches and players of the Albany Empire are preparing to file a class-action lawsuit against owner and former NFL player Antonio Brown because they claim he withdrew money from their bank accounts following their final game by reversing their paychecks.
Coach Moe Leggett of the Empire revealed that players and coaches received expected payments for days following their final contest against the Orlando Predators. However, they discovered the paychecks had been reversed and withdrawn back out of their respective bank accounts less than a week later.
It’s unclear how many employees and players are said to have had their wages reversed or how much. Leggett claimed he made numerous attempts to contact Brown, his accountant, and the team president but never got a response.
Leggett told the Times Union, “I’m frustrated. “I made an effort to view Brown favorably. I tried to collaborate with him. To ensure that everything went smoothly and unnoticed, I tried to be the peacemaker and the mediator. But I’m unable to do that anymore.”
This is allegedly not the first problem that Brown’s club has had in the National Arena League. As a result of Brown allegedly failing to make the necessary contributions to the league’s operational budget, the NAL canceled the club and expelled it from the league earlier this month.
The league claimed that Brown bought the team and paid the down payment in April. After failing to make a payment in May, he disputed the April payment, which the league claimed was refunded to him. The NAL also claimed that Brown did not pay a $1,000 punishment for remarks made in public, but it is not clear to what remarks the NAL was referring. The league claimed Brown owed them $21,000.
Several athletes told the Times Union they would be happy to join Leggett’s case, who claimed he is looking for legal counsel to pursue it.
“I feel like this was his plan all along,” former Empire wide receiver Fabian Guerra told the Times Union. “I feel like he does stuff for social media and to sell his songs. I think it’s just what he does. That’s the type of guy he is. No one trusts him anymore. I see it hard for him to get any future deals going because of how he is as a person.”
The NFL career of Brown, 34, spanned 12 seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New England Patriots, and Pittsburgh Steelers. While at his best, Brown was among the league’s greatest receivers, his career quickly began to decline. He hasn’t played since the end of the 2021 season, when he sprinted off the field while still wearing his gear during a Buccaneers game. Aside from being accused of rape and other sexual misbehavior, he has also been charged with violence and breaking into a conveyance.