FOXBORO — One women’s group is calling on the Patriots to immediately release wide receiver Antonio Brown over rape allegations while another is cautioning fans not to judge the woman who filed suit against Brown.
The group UltraViolet called on Patriot’s owner Robert Kraft to cut Brown because of the allegations.
Shaunna Thomas, co-founder and executive director of UltraViolet, said her group has long demanded that the NFL hold players and members accountable for sexual and domestic violence.
“Robert Kraft and the New England Patriots must immediately cut Antonio Brown,” she said in a prepared statement.
“Time and again, the NFL has failed to address the near epidemic levels of sexual assault and violence within the league — and it is long past time that the NFL start to live up to the commitments that they have made to believe and support survivors of sexual violence.”
The Patriots issued a brief statement saying they are aware of the allegations and take charges of violence seriously, but would not further comment.
The team gave no indication it was going to cut Brown loose and he was at practice Wednesday.
A woman who is his former trainer has filed a civil suit accusing him of three counts of rape and sexual assault.
He has denied it, saying the incidents were consensual and the woman had tried to get him to invest in a business she was starting.
Peg Langhammer, executive director of Day One in Rhode Island, said fans should also avoid judging the woman and calling her a gold digger.
“This case was just filed and needs to go through the process,” she said.
The facts in the case are not fully known yet and there shouldn’t be a rush to judgment, she said.
She said victims of sexual assault need support when they come forward because so many victims never report their attacks.
Langhammer said she hopes the Patriots have procedures in place for dealing with circumstances such as these and those procedures are followed.
She noted that in many businesses an employee would be put on leave when faced with similar allegations.