As the Raiders continue to prepare for their Week 1 matchup against the Denver Broncos with the idea that Brown won’t be involved, more information is being leaked regarding the heated exchange between the All-Pro wide receiver and Raiders general manager Mike Mayock.
According to ESPN’s Josina Anderson, Brown was the one who initiated the exchange with Mayock. The altercation then escalated rather quickly, with the Raiders receiver calling Mayock a “cracker” and then proceeding to shout other expletives at him.
“Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown initiated the discussion with general manager Mike Mayock midway through practice on Wednesday, resulting in the confrontation where disparaging language was used by Brown and sparked the team’s current impasse with the player, according to a team source.
A Raiders source confirmed Brown was unhappy with the fine levied by the team and, seeing Mayock watching practice, walked over and initiated an exchange with the GM. The Raiders source confirmed information from another league source who said Brown called Mayock a “cracker” and unleashed a barrage of “cuss words” during the altercation.”
Brown was sent home on Wednesday after getting into a verbal altercation with Mayock, with the brunt of his frustration being from the fines handed out to him for missing prior practices. The 31-year-old receiver made this very clear with his Instagram post.
According to Anderson’s source, Mayock kept his cool and walked away from the altercation to defuse the situation.
“[Mayock] was like, ‘I’m cool, I understand your displeasure,'” the source said. “[Mayock] sort of just like … just walked away because he saw it escalate.”
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Antonio Brown’s Outburst Potentially the Last Straw
While the relationship between Brown and the Raiders has been rocky all training camp and preseason, the boiling point was definitely the altercation between Brown and Mayock.
Even through Brown’s battle with the NFL over helmet use, the frostbite situation with his feet and shots at former Pittsburgh Steelers teammates, he had never taken issue with a member of the Raiders organization — until he went after his boss, Mayock.
It’s one thing to alienate people outside of the organization, but once you start doing it to members of your team, that becomes a major problem.
It’s the reason why the Raiders have been contemplating suspending Brown. According to rumblings, the team could potentially void the $30 million in guaranteed money that they owe the Pro Bowl receiver and simply cut ties with him.
Head Coach Jon Gruden Refuses to Comment on AB
Brown was a non-participant at Thursday’s practice and head coach Jon Gruden was asked to address the situation.
Unsurprisingly, Gruden refused to add fuel to an already tense situation, as NFL.com revealed.
“Like I said, I’m not going to get into all of this,” Gruden said. “Obviously, he wasn’t here today, and when we have some information for you, we’ll give it to you. … I’ve been talking about the same guy every day.
By going after one of the most powerful people in the organization, Brown’s future with the Raiders is up in the air.
Update: Antonio Brown Denies Comment
Following the initial report, Brown denied calling Mayock a racial slur. As ESPN reported, Brown said there was no scuffle at practice and that the word “cracker” was not used and that he would never use it.
It’s an interesting twist to the story, and it’s unknown how the conversation went down. Regardless, it appears all sides are attempting to put this situation behind them ahead of Sunday’s season-opener.