In a game against the New York Jets, Antonio Brown infamously ran out of MetLife Stadium on January 2, 2022. Fans recorded as the seven-time NFL Pro Bowler receiver who dramatically removed his pads and ran into the locker room, shirtless. Soon after, videos were posted of Brown in New York City. Fans were rattled by the situation, asking many questions.
For reference, this is not Antonio Brown’s first incident. The receiver was signed by the Oakland Raiders in 2019 and released without playing a game. He gave himself frostbite and could not play in the preseason. Also, he complained about what helmet he could wear. These incidents forced him to skip practice and the staff was not happy. Later, Brown was happily released from the raiders. Videos were released of him celebrating after the news broke.
Next, Brown was signed by the New England Patriots. His career on the Patriots was short-lived. He was released due to an investigation set forth by the NFL. The NFL was investigating him for multiple accusations of inappropriate sexual behavior, including rape.
In 2020, Brown agreed to a one-year deal with the Buccaneers. Brown had a successful start with his new team. In fact, Brown won Super Bowl LV with the team. The first incident on the Buccaneers came this year. Brown was suspended for three games due to faking his vaccination card.
Now that the backstory is set: What happened to Brown this time? Well, according to Brown, he had an ankle injury. He did not think that he could play against the Jets due to the pain. However, he claims the Buccaneers gave him a painkiller that the NFL advises against. Brown states that Bruce Arians, the Buccaneers head coach, ignored his injury. Surprisingly, the Buccaneers were losing to the Jets by double digits. Therefore, Arians turned to Brown as the main target. However, Brown refused to go in the game, claiming that his injury was too painful. Arians yelled at Brown and told him to leave. Brown was fed up with Arians, so he removed his pads and stormed off the field. Brown claims his MRI has come back showing multiple broken bone fragments.
Was this incident all just a misunderstanding? In my opinion, it is too hard to tell. Brown is unpredictable, however, his story seems legitimate. Arians has been blunt about the situation and has not given the media much to work with. Yet, one thing we know is Arians is known for ignoring injuries in the past. He forced Chris Godwin to run sprints on a torn ACL. This is one of the many incidents that have occurred in the past, which could be used as evidence to prove Brown’s innocence in the situation.
The public cannot ignore Brown’s side in the incident. Although his reaction may have been dramatic, it could have been justified. Hopefully, more details come out in the future.
Graphic: Jiah Lee