Antonio Brown Back in the NFL Spotlight

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Toby Meyer (Senior), Editor-in-Chief

Just when all of the Antonio Brown news seemed to have calmed down, Brown’s recent on-field outburst may have just cost him his NFL career.

During the January 2nd Tampa Bay Buccaneers game in East Rutherford against the New York Jets, what seemed to be a sideline disagreement between Brown and the coaching staff turned into a massive outburst where Brown literally took off half of his uniform and left the field in the middle of the game.

After the situation had cooled off some, it was later discovered after Brown released a lengthy statement that his outburst was centered around and had been triggered by an injury be had been dealing with prior to the game.

He accused the Buccaneers of mischaracterizing his outburst on the field as a “mental health issue” rather than a refusal to play due to the pain he was experiencing.

“I know we were losing to the Jets and that was frustrating for all of us. But I could not make football plays on that ankle,” said Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown. “Yes, I walked off the field. But there’s a major difference between launching from the line and taking hits, compared to jogging off the field with a rush of emotions going through your mind. I am reflecting on my reaction, but there was a trigger. The trigger was someone telling me that I’m not allowed to feel pain,” according to ESPN, Antonio Brown said.

An MRI taken the Monday following Tampa Bay’s 28-24 comeback win revealed broken bone fragments, a ligament torn from the bone and cartilage loss in his ankle.

“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,” said Brown. “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!’ Coach was telling me that if I didn’t play hurt, then I was done with the Bucs,” Antonio Brown said.

After the encounter between Brown and a Buccaneers coach, Brown proceeded to take off his jersey and shoulder pads as well as his gloves, throw the gloves into the crowd and trot across the field, into the locker room leading to head coach Bruce Arians saying Brown is “no longer a Buc” when asked about the situation in his postgame press conference.