#MeToo This Month: Antonio Brown and Brett Kavanaugh

Almost two years after the #MeToo movement began, Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh is once again in the news, joined this month by wide receiver Antonio Brown, former senator Al Franken and opera star Placido Domingo.

Antonio Brown has had a whirlwind couple of weeks. The New England Patriots released him after he was accused by two women of rape and sexual misconduct. Brown was also released by the Oakland Raiders—prior to working with the Patriots—after clashing several times with coaches. He wrote on Twitter that as long as “these owners can cancel deals [and] do whatever they want at anytime,” he wouldn’t play in the NFL. Nike also let him go as an endorser. The Patriots declined to pay him the first installment of the $9 million signing bonus for this season on Tuesday. Brown filed a legal grievance against the Patriots, although it is unlikely to be settled until 2020. Brown also complained about being the victim of a double standard, pointing out that both Robert Kraft and Ben Roethlisberger maintained standing in the NFL despite similar allegations, while he has not (the Tweets were later deleted). Kraft’s case is still in the courts, but other cases show that the NFL doesn’t need a court case to determine a punishment. Additionally, Brown’s agent told ESPN that certain teams are still interested in signing him. 

Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh, on the other hand, is back in the news on a national scale for the second time. Last September, Christine Blasey Ford testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Now, new reporting by the New York Times discussed Deborah Ramirez’s account of sexual misconduct at a Yale University party in the 1980s. Another source, Max Stier, CEO of the Partnership for Public Service, said he saw Kavanaugh exhibiting harassing behavior in a third incident; however, the woman he referred to does not remember the incident and said she doesn’t want to speak to the media. NPR broke down how impeachment would work for Kavanaugh and whether it’s even a good idea. 

A ninth woman has accused former Senator of Minnesota Al Franken of sexual harassment, speaking with New York Magazine for a story published September 30. She said that Franken groped her at the Golden Tennis Shoes Awards in 2006. She said she remained silent over the effect it could have on her career, and has has chosen to remain anonymous. The former senator is poised to step back into the public eye and begin a program on SiriusXM. Franken gave a blanket apology to the magazine the same day, saying “I feel terrible that anyone came away from an interaction with me feeling bad.”

Opera star Placido Domingo has agreed to step down from future performances (after September 24) at the New York Metropolitan Opera after sexual misconduct allegations. This announcement was released the day before Verdi’s Macbeth was to open with Domingo in the title role. Twenty women have alleged inappropriate behavior from Domingo. The Associated Press published allegations against Domingo on August 13 and September 7. Both LA Opera and the American Guild of Musical Artists have announced investigations into the allegations. Domingo said in a statement included in the announcement to Met staff that he disputed the allegations but agreed to withdraw from performances.

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