Antonio Brown is undeniably one of the most controversial players in the NFL. It all started when he got into a confrontation with Ben Roethlisberger during practice. Not long after, Brown demanded a trade, the Steelers granted it, and he got sent to Oakland.
Once he arrived in Oakland, he found himself in the spotlight again when he by threatened to retire because the NFL deemed his helmet (along with other players’ helmets) unsafe for play. In response, Brown filed not one, but two grievances asking for a grace period of one year to use his precious helmet. (During the entire helmet issue, Brown also got frostbitten feet when he did not wear the proper footwear while using a cryo-chamber.)
After the NFL dismissed his grievances, Brown said he would not practice unless he was allowed to wear his helmet. (NFL rules state that players may not practice with un-certified equipment.) At first, this was not a big deal because he skipped optional offseason practices. The trouble came when he began missing mandatory team practices and accrued over $54,000 in fines.
Brown complained to his general manager, Mike Mayock, about the fines and wound up getting in a verbal confrontation with Mayock. During the argument, Brown allegedly called Mayock a “cracker” and reportedly threatened to punch Mayock in the face. Surprisingly, Vontaze Burfict, one of the hardest-hitting and dirtiest players in the NFL, broke up the “fight” between Brown and Mayock. A few days after the conflict, Brown wrote a post on Instagram in which he demanded that the Raiders release him, and they did, leaving Brown free to sign with the New England Patriots.
But trouble seems to have followed Brown to New England. Following his first game with the Patriots, Brown could face yet another fine, this time due to blowing off media members after a 43- point shutout victory over the struggling Miami Dolphins. But Brown’s troubles have progressed beyond fines for his conduct. A few days ago, he was accused of sexual assault and rape by both his former trainer and his doctor. However, Brown will not be prosecuted for sexual assault due to the expired statute of limitations, but the damage is done. Since then, Brown has lost both his sponsorship from Nike and his sponsorship from Xenith which is the company that made his approved helmet.
New reports have surfaced claiming Antonio Brown sent multiple text messages threatening his accuser. Reports also state that when Sports Illustrated texted the number provided by his accuser, Brown allegedly replied: “foh [f— out of here] clown.” The same day these new reports came out, the New England Patriots released him from their roster.
On September 22, two days after being released from New England, Antonio Brown announced his retirement from the NFL. Shortly after his retirement, Brown announced that he has re-enrolled at Central Michigan University, which he attended before declaring for the NFL Draft.
On October 27, 2020, Brown signed a one year deal with the Tampa Buccaneers after an 8 game suspension to once again play alongside Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski. Despite finally being back on the field, I think Browns’ days in the NFL are very numbered unless he can put up the numbers he had in Pittsburgh. However, there is still a pending lawsuit filed by his former personal trainer, Britney Taylor. Depending on the outcome of this lawsuit, the 2020-2021 NFL season may very well be Brown’s last.