Much to the crowd’s bewilderment at MetLife Stadium, Antonio Brown stripped off his jersey and waved goodbye.
The ex-Pittsburgh Steelers receiver was triggered by a benching by Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians. Against teammate Mike Evans’ urging him to remain calm, Brown removed his jersey and walked away from his NFL career.
Arians has had it with Brown. When asked after the game what led to the decision to cut Brown, Arians responded: “He is no longer a Buc, alright? That’s the end of the story. Let’s talk about the guys that went out there and won the game.”
It was as though Antonio Brown was playing a solo game of strip poker. First with the jersey and pads, then as he walked away from the bench, he removed his undershirt and gloves, which he chucked into the crowd fans — all laughing at his expense.
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The outburst was a costly one. According to a tweet from Spotrac, an online resource that tracks players’ contracts, Brown needed:
- 8 more catches =a $333,333 bonus
- 55 receiving yards = another $333,333 bonus
- Just one receiving touchdown = yet another $333,333 bonus
These performance bonuses are called escalators or incentives, written into most players’ contracts. These goals are often met in the final games of the regular season.
One of the first NFL analysts to react to Brown’s latest antics was ex-Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw.
“If there’s no altercation and it’s just him trippin’ off because he’s not going to reach certain goals to get his bonus money of a million bucks, then they need to put him in a straitjacket and take him straight to some hospital to get him analyzed,” Bradshaw said on FOX NFL Gamebreak.
NFL fans immediately took to Twitter to react to Bradshaw’s comments.
“Sad to see Terry Bradshaw and Michael Strahan making jokes about this in the post game. Mental illness isn’t funny,” one fan wrote.
The ex-New York Giants defensive end did his own impersonation of the Antonio Brown saga.
“Pretty clear the guy is not well. We should be advocating for mental health treatment, not mocking those who need it,” commented another fan.
The Durham Report had a different take on how Bradshaw’s comments ran counter to the NFL’s stated efforts to “de-stigmatize mental health help.”
One fan even suggested trading Terry Bradshaw for the late Betty White, who died on December 31, 2021.
Some fans agreed with Bradshaw’s assessment.
A Pattern of Behavior
Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Fame head coach Bill Cowher spoke on the Brown story on CBS Sports.
“It’s a pattern of behavior,” Cowher said. “We’ve seen it everywhere he’s been. You could see it from the time he was in Pittsburgh, to the Raiders, to New England, and where he is right now. It’s sad. An intervention is really needed right now.”
Cowher went on to say that if Brown can’t play for Arians, he won’t play for anyone. Arians was Steelers offensive coordinator during Brown’s first two seasons in Pittsburgh.
“You talk about a player’s coach,” said Cowher. “He holds people accountable, yes. He may have pulled him out of the game because he didn’t like the way he was playing. That’s part of being a coach.”
Arians has given Brown plenty of chances to redeem himself, and Brown blew them all.
A lion’s share of the shame SHOULD reside with the NFL for indulging the players like children…what goes around comes around.
No matter how you spin it Terry was right. The guy needs to be restrained before he hurts himself or someone else. AB is crazy and needs some big time help. No one in their right mind acts that way. He has had chance, after chance, after chance and whatever is wrong with him is not going to change without some big time help. I hope he gets it before it is to late.
I think Bradshaw’s comments are mild in comparison to the list of things this guy has pulled over the years and yet here he still is. Video off him throwing stuff out of a window and almost killing a child below. Sexual assault of a woman, and comments from his step father that he was a serial abuser. The fake vaccination card, which is a friggin felony, unless you are a pro athlete. This doesn’t even touch all the incidents with this guy. Just stuff that he should be in jail for, and not earning millions on a damn football field. I can see where this is going and ends up. A nice follow up to the Aaron Hernandez Story entitled. We Still Haven’t F@@king Learned A Damn Thing. Not Bradshaws job to enable this POS and shame on anybody that thinks his job is to do that. These athletes get worse and worse, because its not about discipline and responsibility. It’s about winning titles and millions and millions, so ignore this cr@p, until it gets to far out of control to stop, then smile wave and just play dumb.