Antonio Brown carries the distinction of being a mercurial figure, and that has often posed problems for him during his professional football career. Over the weekend, the wide receiver stormed out of a game in explosive fashion and has addressed onlookers with a lengthy statement explaining his side of the story.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were taking on the New York Jets when Brown, 33, exited the field and removed his equipment in the process. A flurry of speculative thoughts ensued ranging from Brown’s commitment to the team, accusations of being a diva, and strife within the Bucs locker room.
Brown claims that Bucs head coach Bruce Arians tried to dress down the player’s actions as a mental health breakdown and ignored the fact that Brown stressed that his ankle was hurt and left the game due to pain. Arians said he was unaware of Brown’s injuries but Brown’s attorney said that his client told Arians and the staff about the extent of his pain.
A statement from Brown, which could be viewed below, explains more:
“I took a seat on the sideline and my coach came up to me, very upset, and shouted, ‘What’s wrong with you? What’s wrong with you?’ I told him, ‘It’s my ankle.’ But he knew that. It was well-documented and we had discussed it. He then ordered me to get on the field. I said, ‘Coach, I can’t.’ He didn’t call for medical attention. Instead, he shouted at me, ‘YOU’RE DONE!’ while he ran his finger across his throat. Coach was telling me that if I didn’t play hurt, then I was done with the Bucs.”
Brown then took to social media to share a series of text messages and exchanges in a bid to prove that Arians was indeed aware of Brown’s ankle issues. In the court of public opinion, Brown has endured an avalanche of criticism no doubt due to his past outbursts. The NFL already stated that it would not fine Brown for walking off the field but it isn’t known if the league will look into Brown’s claims further.