Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians was admittedly ‘very’ angry over Antonio Brown’s refusal to enter Sunday’s game against the New York Jets, but now admits he just feels bad for the mercurial receiver, who was released by the team after his bizarre third-quarter departure.
‘It’s a shame,’ Arians told NBC’s Peter King. ‘I feel bad for him. He just can’t help himself.’
As Arians recalled to King, he told Brown to re-enter Sunday’s game at New Jersey‘s MetLife Stadium, but was rebuffed.
According to Arians, Brown said: ‘Nope. I’m not going in.’
After debating the issue with fellow Bucs receiver Mike Evans, the seven-time Pro Bowl selection removed his gloves, jersey, and undershirt before tossing them into the crowd and jogging away.
Brown’s younger brother, former University of Pittsburgh running back Desmond Brown, called his older sibling ‘selfish’ for quitting on his teammates, and suggested that he may have been upset over a contract issue. The elder Brown was approaching three incentive targets, which could have netted him just shy of $1 million in bonuses.
‘… he wanted to get those incentives and realized it wasn’t going to happen,’ Desmond told the Daily Caller.
The Bucs have one more regular season game remaining, and Brown needed 11 more catches as well as an additional 281 receiving yards and three touchdowns to reach all three targets for $999,000 in bonuses.
Desmond also wondered if ‘something happened in the locker room’ at halftime to upset Brown.
Regardless, Desmond said his brother’s exit was ‘a real selfish move,’ adding that ‘there’s no honor in quitting.’
Now-former Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown (81) gestures to the crowd as he leaves the field while his team’s offense was driving against the Jets on Sunday in New Jersey
Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians (left) was ‘very’ angry over Antonio Brown’s refusal to enter Sunday’s game against the New York Jets, but now admits he just feels bad for the mercurial receiver, who was released by the team after tossing his jersey into the stands and jogging off the field in a bizarre third-quarter departure. Brown’s younger brother, former University of Pittsburgh running back Desmond Brown (right), called his older sibling ‘selfish’ for quitting on his teammates, and suggested that he may have been upset over a contract issue. The elder Brown was approaching three incentive targets, which could have netted him just shy of $1 million in bonuses
After removing his pads, jersey, and undershirt, a shirtless Brown made his way for the exit
Brown tosses gloves into the stands as he abruptly leaves Sunday’s game in the third quarter
Both Arians and quarterback Brady have voiced concerns for Brown’s mental health.
‘It was very hard,’ Arians told reporters on Monday. ‘I wish him well. If he needs help, I hope he gets some. It’s very hard. Because I do care about him.’
‘It’s a difficult situation,’ Brady said after the 28-24 come-from-behind win on Sunday. ‘Everybody should do what they can to help him in ways that he really needs it. We all love him. We care about him deeply. We want to see him be at his best. Unfortunately, it won´t be with our team.
‘I think everyone should be very compassionate and empathetic toward some very difficult things that are happening.’
After Brady engineered a late Buccaneers comeback, Arians announced during his post-game press conference that Brown was ‘no longer’ with the team. The receiver was later seen on social media being chauffeured into New York City rather than leaving the tri-state area on the team plane.
Tom Brady pleaded for compassion from fans for Brown, his now-former teammate
Following the incident, Brown, who has dabbled in music, dropped a new rap song that he previously recorded and shared a few cryptic posts on Instagram.
‘Super Gremlin,’ Brown wrote in one post, apparently referencing a song by Kodak Black about betrayal.
Brown’s messy exit on Sunday not only marks the end of his run with the Bucs, but it could be the last time the troubled 33-year-old receiver steps on an NFL field.
Since 2018, Brown has technically been on four teams, although he never suited up for the Oakland Raiders in 2019 and played only one game with the New England Patriots, who released him following allegations of sexual assault my his former personal trainer.
Brown has since settled that lawsuit for an undisclosed amount, and seemed to find success in Tampa Bay, where he won a Super Bowl last season after being recruited to the Bucs by Brady, his former Patriots teammate.
Brown released a rap single, called ‘Pit Not the Palace,’ several hours after his bizarre exit
In another cryptic post, Brown shared a photo of himself after his meltdown on Sunday
However, things went awry for Brown this season after he was accused by his former personal chef of trying to skirt NFL health and safety protocol by obtaining a fake COVID-19 vaccine card.
Brown was ultimately suspended three games by the NFL for ‘misrepresenting’ his vaccine status before the season.
He returned for the Bucs in late December, and seemed ready to once again focus on football ahead of Tampa Bay’s December 26 game against the Carolina Panthers.
‘You guys, it’s all drama,’ Brown told reporters about his suspension when he returned to the team. ‘It’s all about football. We here to talk about Carolina or I don’t want to talk to you guys.’
Brown has faced extensive legal issues over the last three years, including a sexual assault lawsuit made by his former personal trainer, Britney Taylor.
Britney Taylor, who knew Brown from their time at Central Michigan University, sued him in 2019, claiming that he sexually assaulted her on three occasions between 2017 and 2018
Taylor sued Brown in federal court back in 2019, but later refiled in Florida, claiming he sexually assaulted on three occasions between 2017 and 2018. Brown, who countersued Taylor for defamation in 2019, has denied the accusation and according to an ESPN report, refused to sign a $2 million settlement agreement.
No criminal charges were ever filed against Brown.
In her lawsuit, Taylor, a gymnast who first met Brown while they were both studying at Central Michigan University, claimed Brown exposed himself and kissed her without consent in 2017.
She described a second alleged incident ‘later that same month’, in which Brown is said to have stood behind her and masturbated while she was watching television. Unaware of what he was doing, Taylor said she was surprised when Brown then ‘ejaculated on her back,’ according to the lawsuit obtained by DailyMail.com.
In her lawsuit, Taylor (left), a gymnast who first met Brown while they were both studying at Central Michigan University, claimed Brown (right) exposed himself and kissed her without consent in 2017
The lawsuit also claimed that Brown bragged to Taylor about carrying out the purported assault in ‘profane and angry text messages.’
As a result, Taylor ended her working relationship with Brown.
However, several months later, when he contacted her and ‘begged for forgiveness,’ she relented, saying she was, ‘swayed by his assurance that he would cease any sexual advances.’
But on May 20, 2018, Taylor says Brown assaulted her once more, this time pinning her only a bed, pushing her face into a mattress and ‘forcibly’ raping her.
Taylor said she tried to escape Brown’s hold, repeatedly screaming ‘no and stop’ at him, but the desperate cries allegedly fell on deaf ears as Brown was ‘too strong and physically overpowered her.’
‘As a rape victim of Antonio Brown, deciding to speak out has been an incredibly difficult decision,’ Taylor said in a statement released by her lawyer. ‘I have found strength in my faith, my family, and from the accounts of other survivors of sexual assault.’
Taylor claimed in her lawsuit that she was so traumatized as a result of the three alleged attacks that she suffered ‘near-daily panic attacks, frequent suicidal ideations, and insomnia.’
Brown was a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers at the time of the alleged assault.
When Taylor filed her lawsuit in federal court in 2019, the controversial receiver had just signed with New England following a brief, but turbulent, tenure with the Oakland Raiders, who waived him amid his disputes with the front office.
Taylor (left) and Brown (right) reconnected in 2017, when he hired her as his personal trainer
Brown was later released by the Patriots after only one game when a second woman came forward, accusing him of sexually harassing her when she painted a mural in his Pennsylvania home in 2017. Later, after coming forward, she claimed to have received threats from Brown and his friends via text message in an apparent attempt to silence her.
In 2020, Brown pleaded no contest to an assault charge stemming from an incident with a moving truck driver. He was placed on two years probation and also ordered to have a psychological evaluation and enroll in a 13-week anger management course.
Aside from the sexual assault accusations he faced from former personal trainer Britney Taylor, who sued him over alleged three incidents in 2017 and 2018, Brown was also accused of sexual misconduct by a different woman, according to a Sports Illustrated profile in September 2019.
‘In a half-dozen lawsuits, he is accused of refusal to pay wages to former assistants and part-time employees. Court documents and interviews also suggest a pattern of disturbing, sometimes bizarre behavior—including, SI has learned, a second woman’s allegations of sexual misconduct by Brown,’ the magazine said.
The woman, an artist, alleged that Brown came up to her and started talking to her while covering his penis with a hand towel while she painted a mural in his home.
In January 2020, Brown was accused of attacking a truck driver in Hollywood, Florida. The driver said Brown got violent because he didn’t want to pay him.
The football player was eventually charged with multiple offenses including burglary with assault.
A civil lawsuit filed by the driver is still pending.
Brown began his career at the Pittsburgh Steelers from 2010 to 2018. He had a brief stint with the Oakland Raiders, but he was let go after a confrontation with the team manager.
He was cut from the Patriots after playing in just one game. He joined the Bucs in 2020, following the recruiting efforts by Brady, and ultimately won his first Super Bowl in February.