Antonio Brown Lashes Out at Buccaneers Coaches, Leaves During Game


Jack Schroeder, Staff Reporter

During the third quarter of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ week 17 game against the New York Jets, veteran wide receiver Antonio Brown caused some commotion that resulted in one of the biggest drama stories of the season. Brown took his shoulder pads off, threw them on the sideline, threw his shirt and gloves into the stands, and waved goodbye to the fans as he jogged into the tunnel heading towards Tampa Bay’s locker room. This incident occurred after Brown appeared to have a confrontation with his teammate Mike Evans, who is also a veteran wide receiver. Buccaneers fans attending the game could be seen in videos giving Brown the middle finger and shooing him away after he threw his gear.

Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said that Antonio Brown is “no longer a Buc” during the post game press conference. 

Since this incident, Antonio has said through a legal statement with his attorney that he pulled himself out of the game because of extreme pain regarding an ankle injury he had previously missed a few games for. According to Brown, he had conversed with Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht and head coach Bruce Arians days before the game against the New York Jets about his injury and that both men had acknowledged it. Prior to the game, he was injected with “…a powerful and sometimes dangerous painkiller that the NFLPA (National Football League Players Association) has warned against using…” After halftime, the pain became too extreme and he opted to sit on the bench of the Buccaneers’ sideline. Brown then said his coach, presumably Bruce Arians, came up to him after he sat down and screamed at him, saying that if he didn’t get back up and play, he would be done playing for the Buccaneers. Antonio then added, “Coach was telling me that if I didn’t play hurt, then I was done with the Bucs.” Brown said that he considered himself “cut” at that moment, and that he did not want to wear their brand, which was his explanation for taking off his pads and throwing them on the sideline as he jogged off the field. The Bucs subsequently cut him on January 6, following a medical dispute.

Days after the game, Brown underwent an MRI, which revealed his ankle had “broken bone fragments”, as well as a “ligament torn from the bone” and “cartilage loss”. Since Antonio believed he was cut, he seeked his own doctor and had the MRI scheduled before the Buccaneers could give him clearance. Brown said that he had found the best doctor possible to diagnose him, and his lawyer, Sean Burstyn, considers the Bucs’ reasoning for terminating his contract was unjust. Burstyn claims that the Buccaneers’ medical plans for Brown following the game were never made to accommodate him, rather for him to miss deliberately so they could have a reason to cut him. Brown added in his legal statement that the Bucs tried to get him to go to a doctor that wasn’t as qualified as the doctor he acquired himself, referring to the doctor as “Top Doc”.

Antonio Brown has since released a music video, stated he still wants to play in the NFL, trash-talked his former quarterback Tom Brady, had drama with OnlyFans model Ava Louise, and had a public dinner with Kanye West. The Antonio Brown saga seems to be never ending.