The Antonio Brown and Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ saga got even more interesting.
Wednesday evening (Jan.6), the problematic wide receiver released his first statement after his spectacle on Sunday that saw him leave the field shirtless in the middle of the Bucs matchup in New York against the Jets. Bruce Arians kept it short and sweet after the game head coach, saying Brown was “no longer a Buc” with a source telling ESPN that embattled wide receiver “quit” on the team.
Brown didn’t say much, but he let his actions do all of the talking: running and doing jumping jacks off the field, flagging an Uber, and sitting courtside at a Brooklyn Nets home game. Now, he’s finally breaking his silence and had a lot to say in an extremely lengthy statement where he claims he told Arians he was hurt, accusing the Buccaneers of not caring and “forcing him” onto the field.
In the statement, Brown says he sustained broken bones and torn ligaments in his ailing ankle that requires surgery. AB also accused the Bucs coaching staff of being negligent about his injury, claiming that he decided to put on a show and exit the game. He also accused the Bucs of incorrectly calling him leaving the field a “mental health issue.”
Bruce Arians got most of the smoke in the statement. Brown claimed that his former head coach was well aware of his injury, and he had text messages to prove it. That is also a claim that Arians did deny when speaking to the press following the incident. Here is Brown speaking on the incident in the statement released through his attorney, Sean Burstyn.
“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.”
Thursday morning (Jan.6), Brown shared those alleged messages with Arians, but they really aren’t as damming as AB made them out to be. In the exchange, Brown shared a photo of himself getting treatment on his ankle from a trainer while telling Arians he would be ready to go despite the fact he “can’t get to full speed.” Arians told Brown to “come see him in the morning” so they can “talk it out.”
In a bizarre move, Brown shared a text message between himself and Tom Brady’s trainer Alex Guerrero, which didn’t really make Guerrero look bad at all. He also tagged his buddy Brady for good measure.
Following the release of the statement, Twitter shared thoughts on the matter. Some believe AB, while others just can’t believe the guy who on numerous occasions showed he can’t be trusted. Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks described it as a situation that requires a lot of nuance in tweet thread breakdown.
Either way or the other, the truth will come out, either Brown is right, or he is lying again.
The Buccaneers have officially released Antonio Brown. Bruce Arians spoke with the press following Brown’s statement claiming the wide receiver was upset about targets and refused to return to the game. The Bucs backed up their coach and confirmed in a statement AB was cleared to play by medical officials disputing his claims.
“While Antonio did receive treatment on his ankle and was listed on the injury report the week leading up to last Sunday’s game, he was cleared to play by our medical team prior to the start of the game and at no point during the game did he indicate to our medical personnel that he could not play.”
“We have attempted, multiple times throughout this week, to schedule an evaluation by an outside orthopedic specialist, yet Antonio has not complied. Maintaining the health and wellness of our players is of the utmost importance to our organization.”
You can peep reactions in the gallery below.
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