The Antonio Brown Situation: A Breakdown

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Will Bauers, Reporter

On January 2nd, as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers battled the New York Jets, attention quickly shifted from the playing field to the sideline, as the Buccaneers’ star wide receiver Antonio Brown suddenly pulled off his jersey and pads as well as his undershirt and gloves (which he threw into the crowd) and proceeded to run across the endzone and into the tunnel while waving at fans and signaling them to stand up, before flashing them a peace sign and disappearing into the tunnel.

NFL fans around the world (including unfortunate fantasy owners of Brown like myself) immediately began to wonder what the cause of the incident was, and what his future with the Buccaneers would look like.

The question pertaining his future was answered in a post game presser by Bucs coach Bruce Arians after Tampa defeated the Jets 28-24.

When asked about Brown, Arians told the media that he was no longer a Buc, and that he wanted to talk about the players who helped the team win instead of discussing Brown.

Brown was not released by the Buccaneers until January 6th, which up until then had sparked speculation that Brown may be given a second chance by the team, or that they were holding him as to not have to potentially go against him in the playoffs.

As far as the fallout of the incident goes, there has been a lot of finger-pointing by Brown towards the team.

Brown alerted Bruce Arians via text about his ankle being injured prior to the game, which was proven by Brown after releasing screenshots of his text message conversation with Arians, after Arians claimed that they had not talked about it. Why Arians was not truthful about this is unclear at this point.

The larger portion of Brown’s accusations are still up for speculation.

Brown continues to allege in a lengthy statement that after playing for a majority of the game, he alerted Arians that he had to exit the game due to his ankle injury. He then says that Arians told him that if he did not continue to play despite injury, that he would be cut from the team, and made a slashing gesture across his neck. Brown says that he maintained his position that he should continue to sit out at which point Arians cut him, which caused Brown to then proceed with removing his uniform and running off the field.

Brown said that he removed his uniform over feeling insulted and no longer wanting to display the Bucs logo on his body.

He also claims that he received and MRI from one of the top orthopedic surgeons in New York, Dr. Martin O’Malley, at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS), and had a surgery scheduled at HSS, but was ordered by the Bucs under threats of discipline to go to a more junior doctor at HSS for another opinion.

AB also went on to express his disappointment with the organization for not honoring the late Vincent Jackson. Jackson was a retired receiver who had played for the Bucs and had died from severe alcohol consumption. He was later revealed to have been suffering from CTE. Brown expressed his feelings on the Full Send Podcast.

The Bucs released a statement on January 6th via their twitter after cutting Brown, which aimed to refute many of his claims of mistreatment.

The NFL Players Association is currently investigating Brown’s allegations.

As far as Brown’s career is concerned, many think that his playing days are over, as no organization would be willing to take him on after this incident. No one can be certain of this though, as we have seen in the past with AB that all it takes is for one person to give him a shot.