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Raiders’ Brown files grievance over helmet

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown has reportedly filed a grievance with the NFL over a league rule that prevents him from wearing his 10-year-old helmet.

ESPN reported that Brown had a two-hour conference call Friday with an independent arbitrator to state his case for why he should be able to use a helmet that is no longer certified by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment. League and union representatives were also on the call and ESPN reported a ruling could come as early as next week.

Brown has not participated in a full practice for the Raiders after starting training camp on the non-football injury list with injuries to his feet that reportedly came from frostbite suffered while getting cryotherapy treatment in France. Brown was cleared to practice on July 28 and participated in part of two sessions but hasn’t been around the team the past few days.

Brown’s Schutt Air Advantage helmet is not allowed to be worn because of a league policy that players must wear helmets that are NOCSAE certified, a person in the league said on condition of anonymity because the commissioner’s office was not talking publicly about the issue. NOCSAE won’t recertify his helmet because it is more than 10 years old.

Schutt discontinued making the helmet three years ago because current technology had moved past it, according to the company.

Brown was one of 32 players using one of 11 helmets last season that are now banned by the league and players’ association.