Antonio Brown has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. The former NFL wide receiver is one of the biggest names in football, but he may have just ruined his chances of ever playing football again.
There’s a good chance you might have missed something, so let’s do a quick recap that leads to his latest stunt.
Antonio forced his way out of the Steelers with drama in the locker room. Brown got his wish when they traded Brown to the Raiders for a third and fifth-round pick (peanuts for a future Hall-of-Famer, right?) The Raiders, thinking they hit the jackpot, signed Brown to a three-year contract extension worth $50 million and $30 million guaranteed. AB just got everything he wanted, so what could go wrong?
Brown told his team that he could not play because he got, wait for it…frostbite on his toes! Brown went into a cryotherapy chamber when he was on a trip to France without the appropriate footwear and got himself frostbitten…badly. This is one of the more bizarre injury stories you’ll ever see, but they never imagined that there would be so much trouble ahead.
The 10-year-old helmet that Brown has played with his entire career was now banned, but he figured he could just get his way again. He went as far as filing two grievances against the NFL – both of which were denied. After choosing an approved helmet, he missed multiple practices and caused a lot of headaches in the process. The Raiders knew about these antics before, but they could never have prepared for this.
The GM of the Raiders, Mike Mayock, fined Brown twice for $53,950 for missing those practices. Afterward, he posted the letter publicly on Instagram for everyone to see. But then he went even further.
Brown and Mayock got into a ‘heated exchange’ on the practice field. After a day to cool down, Brown apologized to the team at a meeting with his teammates by his side. Everything seemed fine until Brown did something that changed everything.
Jon Gruden called Brown and asked, “Do you want to be a Raider or not?” Brown answered, “This is my life. Ain’t no more games.” Coach thought that was the end of it, then the story takes a weird turn.
15 minutes after messaging Gruden, they receive 3 texts saying, “Wow. I love it. Loved it. I love it.” After receiving consent to post the video, we’re all good right? This stunt shocked everybody. But Brown hadn’t thought carefully about what would have to happen next.
The Raiders voided the guaranteed money in Brown’s contract due to “conduct detrimental,” but Brown was going to fight for his guaranteed $30 million dollars. He hired social media experts to upload a post called “Release me” on Instagram. The Raiders did just that. Now without a team, the free agent was about to sign where ever he wanted. What happened next surprised most experts.
Not even a couple hours passed before he was signed with the Patriots! Getting guaranteed money, he happily signed a new one-year deal with New England, worth $15 million and includes a $9 million signing bonus. Brown finally has a legit chance to win a Super Bowl, but there was still something about his past that worried the Patriots.
After four days as a Patriot, news broke about allegations that he assaulted a trainer that worked with him years prior. Britney Taylor was the woman and former trainer who said that Brown assaulted her. The Patriots released a statement that evening saying that they are taking the accusations “very seriously”. Brown allegedly also assaulted another female artist in his house. This latest stunt surpasses them all.
The Patriots cut Brown 11 days after signing him. He has only played one game. The team saw Brown as a liability as the allegations made by Taylor and threatening texts were being brought to light and being investigated by the NFL. Brown’s judgment had been brought into question. But what happened next was even crazier.
It seems that all of this was too much for Brown and so he took to Twitter saying: “Will not be playing in the NFL anymore these owners can cancel deals do whatever they want at anytime we will see if the NFLPA hold them accountable sad they can just void guarantees anytime going on 40m 2 months will see if they pay up!” Suing the teams that gave you a chance doesn’t seem like the brightest idea. Things didn’t end there…
He posted on Instagram that he’s enrolled in classes at Central Michigan and he’s going “back to school,” showing 4 classes: Introduction to Management, Technical Writing, Death and Dying, and Racism and Equality. Brown attended Central Michigan and played football there from 2007 until 2009 before being drafted by the Steelers. Maybe the school will be a nice change of scenery, but then the court system called…
Brown went to court to keep a video deposition of him out of the public. This condo-trashing deposition doesn’t show him in the best light. He was accused of being “belligerent,” ”pugnacious,” “defiant” and “profane” at the meeting when he went on camera as part of a lawsuit with his old condo complex. The attorneys also say Brown “chanted, over and over” during the video. Maybe he didn’t know he was being recorded when he said this…
Brown’s latest Instagram Live video asked Patriot fans to help him play for the team again. “If you follow the Patriots, tell them to call me. They have to pay me, may as well make me earn it,” he said. After the Patriots released Brown, he has not found a new team yet. But his court troubles are just beginning…
Antonio Brown accuser drops the federal suit but will refile in a Flordia court. Taylor met with NFL investigators. The league has not suspended the WR, and has still not found a team willing to sign him. Is this the end?
The NFL is still investigating multiple allegations while Brown remains a free agent and will not place him on the Commissioner’s exempt list while he is unsigned.
NFL spokesman says the investigation into Brown was active and ongoing.
Everybody already knew that he did what he wanted. Brown’s fines as a Pittsburgh Steelers for twerking when he achieved a touchdown and missing practice with the Steelers totaled over $60,000. During his time with the Steelers, Brown was on the reality competition show ‘Dancing with the Stars’, where he placed fourth on the show’s 22nd season. Brown also appeared on ‘The Masked Singer’ for one episode before being eliminated. Maybe he has a future on TV? This is nothing new. Other players have been forced out of the NFL as well.
Another seemingly booted NFL player is former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. For him, it all started in August 2016 during a preseason game where he knelt for the national anthem, sparking the controversy of the year and a movement that will follow as a result. It seems that Kaepernick has been ousted by the NFL with no one willing to hire him after the 49ers released him.
What normally would be the players fault in terms of his game and possible inappropriate actions is not so in this one as it seems, according to Kaepernick’s lawyer, that there is a case of collusion against Kaepernick.
The reason Colin Kaepernick knelt during the national anthem back in 2016 and every game he was in thereafter, was due to his desire to raise awareness on the topic of police brutality and racism in the country. At the time he told NFL Media, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”
He continued by saying, “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way,” he continued. “There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder… I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed. If they take football away, my endorsements from me — I know that I stood up for what is right.”
Initially, the 49ers were supporting Kaepernick and his cause, saying, “In respecting such American principles as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, we recognize the right of an individual to choose to participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem.” However, after the backlash started coming in from conservative parties, the tune changed.
Kaepernick’s movement, dubbed #TakeAKnee, spread across other NFL teams such as the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos. In March 2017, Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the 49ers, unable to get another team’s backing afterwards despite his stats in 2017 (16 touchdowns and 4 interceptions).
What ended up sealing Kaepernick’s fate was the current President of the United States. As soon as the President started tweeting his own opinion on Kaepernick and his movement, the pressure was too great for any other NFL team to touch him. Despite not currently playing for any NFL team, the world of pop culture came to his defense and supported his movement.
Kaepernick was honored with the 2017 Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award. It was there that he said, “I accept this award not for myself, but on behalf of the people. Because if it were not for my love of the people, I would not have protested. And if it was not for the support from the people, I would not be on this stage today.”
Another NFL player who got himself into some hot water is Randy Gregory. The Dallas Cowboy defensive end was indefinitely suspended from playing in February 2019 after failing multiple substance tests and therefore violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy and the terms of his already conditional reinstatement as he has been suspended several times before for such behavior.
Gregory is considered to be one of the most talented players on the team, but has not been allowed to play due to intermittent suspensions and now, the indefinite one that he is hoping to overturn.
Gregory missed 30 out of the 32 games over the course of two seasons due to the first three suspensions he received for substance abuse. The NFL and his coaches were trying to keep his career alive as they knew that he would be a great asset for them. In 2018, he had his best year yet, which is why his 2019 suspension came as a surprise to many.
Gregory was risking a profitable and high-profile football career many times over and it seemed harder and harder for the then 26-year-old to get clean.
In July 2019, Gregory filed an appeal to be reinstated to the NFL, posing a detailed and specific plan to do so. There would be constant treatment of Gregory and progress reports being brought back to the coach and heads, as well as mandatory and regular screenings.
While the paperwork was submitted, no decision has been made as of yet which is on its own quite bizarre as the process is usually 60 days, which we are far beyond. Gregory said, I’m working very hard to get to a place where I can be in control. It will be a happier place.”
At this point, Gregory is still suspended and is not with the Cowboys officially. There are those who think in the sports world that they are trying to make an example of Gregory in a positive way, giving him the time to do right by himself and getting clean and ready to really put this all behind him.
Older NFL rules would have him out of the sport and never see the field again, but there is still hope for Gregory should he truly want to put substances behind him and continue a bright career with the NFL.