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Antonio Brown's helmet drama at Raiders training camp should be a non-issue, Giants' Antoine Bethea says

Giants free safety Antoine Bethea lines up during

Giants free safety Antoine Bethea lines up during the first half against the Bears at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., on Thursday. Credit: Daniel De Mato

The Giants’ A.B. thinks the Raiders’ A.B. should just strap on a helmet and play.

Safety Antoine Bethea, a 14-year NFL veteran, told Newsday that Antonio Brown’s helmet drama that has him sitting out training camp should be a non-issue. Not that he has anything personal to add to the matter.

"To each his own," Bethea shrugged.

But that Brown — or any NFL player — should consider the rules as helpful rather than restrictive. 

“I get the comfort level, being able to say, ‘This is what I’ve performed in and this is what I’m used to,’” Bethea said. “I totally get that. But there is also another side to it as well . . . Sometimes you have to think logically and just think about safety.”

Brown, the wide receiver in his first year with the Raiders, reportedly wants to play in a particular helmet model that is older than 10 years old and uncertified by the NFL. He has not participated in Raiders training camp practices while the situation is working toward a resolution. On Sunday, Raiders general manager Mike Mayock called out Brown publicly, saying he has to decide if he is “all in or all out” with the team that traded for him this offseason.

As for his helmet, Bethea said he’s gone through “three or four” models in his career, as he has played for four different teams. He said when arriving with a new team, a player is typically presented with a list of approved choices and gets to pick one. Sometimes the first choice doesn’t work and a player will pick another to find the best fit.

Ultimately, Bethea said, he trusts the guidelines that determine what is allowed and what is not.

“I don’t have an attachment to my helmet,” Bethea said. “I’ve had to change mine. I’ve had a few helmets since I’ve been in the league. At the end of the day, with technology and the testing of the helmets, you’ve got to kind of let the companies do their job. They say you shouldn’t wear this type of helmet, well, they’re experts at that. We’re experts at playing ball, they’re experts at that, so you let them do their job.”

Bethea said the helmet he wore in college and when he entered the NFL in 2006 stopped meeting certification standards years ago.

“When they started coming in with these new helmets, at first it was an adjustment for me,” he said. “But again, you find something you are comfortable with and you go about your business.”


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