What Antonio Brown told Tampa Bay Buccaneers mid-game before release as $1million bonus lost
Antonio Brown left the field for Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the third quarter of their NFL win at New York Jets.
The former Pittsburgh Steelers star WR stripped his jersey off, before gesturing to the crowd and storming off towards the locker room mid-way through the third quarter of the game.
Brown was allegedly angered by a conversation with a member of staff pitchside, and this caused his shocking reaction.
On a video uploaded to the official NFL YouTube account, sports writer Ian Rapoport gave his thoughts on what he understood to have happened. He said: “Here’s my understanding of how this broke out.
“Mid-way through the game yesterday, Bruce Arians and the offensive staff told Brown to go into the game, they believed that he was healthy. Antonio Brown did not believe he was healthy.
“He’d been battling an ankle injury for the last several weeks, he did not practice Thursday or Friday and personally he had some doubts that he couldn’t go out and play.
“What he told the staff from what I understand is that he was not going into the game because in his mind, he didn’t feel he was healthy.”
He was essentially told to ‘get on with it’ and was handed an ultimatum from the Bucs’ offensive team.
The response from the offensive coaches to Brown’s information that he wasn’t in a fit enough state to play was, according to Rapoport: “If you are not going to go into the game when we tell you to go into the game then you can not be here.
Rapoport continued: “At that point, they threw him off the sidelines and then cut him from the team.
“They sent him packing on the sidelines and left Antonio Brown with a $1million incentive right within his reach. He was going to get it but he left all of that and left the field. And now he is no longer a member of the Buccaneers.
Tampa head coach Arians spoke to the press after the game, in which the Bucs defeated the Jets 28-24, and confirmed Brown had been cut from the team.
He said: “He [Brown] is no longer a Buc. That’s the end of the story.”
When the incident occurred, the Bucs were losing 24-10, but rallied and through veteran Tom Brady, managed to win the game to move onto a record of 12-4 for the season.
It’s quite a turnaround situation for the Bucs and Brown, after the 12-year vet helped the Bucs to win SuperBowl 55 last year.
This tarnishes a good career for Brown, who is a seven-time Pro Bowler for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Sadly, despite all the talent, Brown has always had a knack of being in trouble. He was released by New England Patriots in 2019 after one game amid allegations of sexual misconduct and threatening text messages.
He was also suspended for the first half of the 2020 season after facing assault and burglary charges and was suspended for three games in December for misrepresenting a Covid-19 vaccine certificate.