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Steelers

NFL 'will continue to monitor' lawsuit filed against Steelers' Antonio Brown

Chris Adamski
| Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018, 2:51 p.m.
Steelers receiver Antonio Brown shows up to practice on Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018 at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Steelers receiver Antonio Brown shows up to practice on Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018 at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.

Antonio Brown is facing a civil lawsuit that could cost him more than $15,000 . Could it perhaps also cost him a fine or suspension from the league?

The NFL, through a spokesman, isn’t ruling that out.

“We are aware of and will continue to monitor the civil suits,” league spokesman Brian McCarthy told the Tribune-Review on Wednesday.

Brown was named in a lawsuit filed in August in Florida by Ophir Sternberg, the CEO and founding partner of Miami-based Lionheart Capital, LLC. Sternberg is seeking damages in connection to claims that furniture thrown from a 14th-floor balcony by Brown nearly struck Sternberg’s father and his 22-month-old son.

The suit, filed in Miami-Dade County, claims the incident left the toddler “severely traumatized.” It also states Brown’s rage was fueled by the alleged theft of $80,000 from his closet.

The NFL has power to discipline players for “conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in” the league, as stated in its personal-conduct policy most recently revised in 2016.

Part of the language of the policy reads that actions subject to discipline can include, “Conduct by anyone in the league that is illegal, violent, dangerous, or irresponsible puts innocent victims at risk.”

The policy emphasizes the threshold is lower than being found guilty of a crime. Brown has not been criminally charged in the alleged incident.

The NFL can conduct its own investigation into incidents it finds detrimental to the league. It can levy fines and/or suspensions accordingly.

The only Steelers player who has been suspended because of the policy, which first was implemented in 2007, was quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. He was suspended the first six games of the 2010 season (later changed to four games) after two accusations of sexual assault. Neither resulted in criminal charges.

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Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris at cadamski@tribweb.com or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.

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