The downfall of Antonio


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Antonio Brown used to be one of the best wide receivers in football, but now he no longer plays in the NFL.

Antonio Brown used to be viewed by me as the best wide receiver in football. On week 17 of the 2018 NFL season, the Steelers played a must-win game against the Cleveland Browns. This would decide if they made the postseason. Then, the news broke from Mike Tomlin, Steelers head coach, about Pittsburgh’s all star receiver, saying that Brown will not play this week. The news that he had an injury, an injured knee that would keep him out for that week – a major surprise to the sports press and crushing news for Steelers fans. The Steelers beat the Cincinnati Bengals 16-13, but it wasn’t enough, as the Baltimore Ravens win against the Cleveland Browns negated the Steelers postseason chances. That should be where the story ends.

However, the Pittsburgh Post Gazette later revealed Brown’s absence was no injury. It was because of his own poor choices that week, including missing team activities and arguing with a teammate. Pittsburgh Gazette writer Dulac said that the teammate was current quarterback of the Steelers, Ben Roethlisberger. The anonymous sources say Antonio got fed up with Rothlisberger running repetitive routes, and promptly walked out of practice. James Jones, an NFL network analyst and former Green Bay Packers receiver, said he had heard that the two had a shaky relationship before these incidents took place.

“Wednesday in practice, I heard he ran the wrong route, and then Ben threw the ball on the ground and said, ‘Get him out of here. Get someone else in there,'”  Jones said.

According to a tweet from Brown, the incident was over a matter of respect. He also said he thinks Rothlisberger has an owner mentality and believes he can call anyone out. This is a constant problem I see with Brown.

When he doesn’t get his way, Antonio often takes it the wrong way. He thinks as if the team he’s on is praying for his downfall, or treating him unfairly. In reality, they are trying to do everything for him to succeed. It’s on him if he keeps messing up and making mistakes.

The 2019 NFL offseason fiasco surrounding Brown is a prime example of this. In July of 2019, Brown showed up to training camp with frostbite on both of his feet, due to a cryotherapy mishap in France. However, shortly after that incident, he was seen in a hot air balloon, which shows a lack of commitment, since he should’ve been rejoining his team and healing up for training camp. That provoked the Raiders to fine him $40,000, since his absence was unexcused, and it later went up to $54,000, since he also missed a team tour of the facilities. 

He responded in the worst manner possible by posting the letter of the fine to his Instagram story. Team talks with players, and letters like that should never be released to the public, and his response to the teams letter was poor. He captioned on his Instagram story picture, “when your own team want to hate but there’s no stopping me now.” To me that shows ignorance, and completely missing the point of the punishment from the Raiders. 

It gets worse. Antonio had used his own personal helmet throughout his whole career, but coming in to this upcoming NFL season this style of helmet is now banned. That is very understandable in the NFL since football is taking steps to make the game safer.  Antonio disagreed and fought the NFL tirelessly and unsuccessfully to not use the new helmets and stick with his old one. That was another reason he didn’t show up to training camp. As time went on, the Raiders understandably became fed up with his antics, including a serious one of him threatening to punch  Mayock, Raiders GM, to his face in a verbal confrontation. Antonio also posted a Twitter recording of Gruden, Raiders Head Coach, giving him advice, and encouraging him to get back on the field and just play football. 

The Raiders finally did what many fans expected and released him. Then right after, Antonio had a short tenure with the New England Patriots that ended very similar to his run with the Raiders. Why did his career with New England end so fast?  That is because of all the damaging sexual assault claims against him by a few women. One was a former trainer of his (Britany Taylor) who accuses him of sexually assaulting her three different times. Another claim is from an anonymous female artist, who was invited by Antonio to his Pittsburgh home paint a mural of him. She says he then flirted with her very inappropriately several times while she was painting.  After she told her friends about this experience, they notified her of the lawsuit filed by Taylor. This whole situation is simply a person destroying their own livelihood and career with poor choices, and clear societal problems, and temptations that they need to address.

Even if Brown is counting up the millions, he doesn’t care about his team if he doesn’t get his way. He’s unnecessarily dragging the NFL brand through the mud, and making himself look like an even worse person in the process. If he says it’s his life, he’s surely mistaken if he keeps up his poor choice making. He needs to get help from the people close to him before he can fully recover, and have his life fully be his again before he fully loses control of his life. It could result in more consequences besides football.