How the Mighty Have Fallen: Antonio Brown

How the Mighty Have Fallen: Antonio Brown

Brandon Mills, Writer

Antonio Brown (AB)….what in the world happened with you in the last eight months? A lot. That’s what. The entire AB saga started back in January when he decided to no-show practice the week leading up to week 17 against Cincinnati when he was still playing in Pittsburgh. This was odd for arguably the greatest receiver of our generation, and probably a top-five receiver of all-time. The guy’s stats are a sick joke. In 131 career games, he had 841 receptions, 11,263 yards, and 75 touchdowns. Not to mention that he has made the Pro Bowl seven times, and has been named an all-pro four times as stated in Pro Football Reference. Since he entered the league in 2010, he leads in touchdowns and receiving yards according to the ESPN website, which are two pretty important stats if you play wide receiver.  

This story needs full context on the background of how truly great AB was at the game of football, before explaining the controversy that has recently surrounded this all-star athlete. Once he no-showed the week 17 game, Pittsburgh had enough of him and the only option was to trade him. They tried trading him to Buffalo first, and the league approved the trade, but AB did not. About a month later, who else but one of the most historically disorganized franchises in all of football, the Oakland Raiders, sent a third and sixth-round pick to the Steelers for the star receiver. Now he’s in Oakland, apparently happy as can be with his new quarterback Derek Carr. The two were seen on Instagram almost immediately after the trade hanging out and getting to know each other.

For about three months, all was good, he was happy and ready to get to work in Oakland. Theeeeeeen, he found out that he was not allowed to wear the very helmet he had adorned his entire career, and all hell broke loose. He refused to participate in training camp but still showed up in a HOT AIR BALLOON, according to HBO Hard Knocks. This was the start of a tumultuous three-month span for Brown. No more than two weeks later, we got one of the most gruesome pictures I have ever seen. Brown burned the bottom of his feet off in a cryotherapy chamber.

YUCK. So this happened and now he had a second reason to not participate in training camp. If you are a pro athlete, I am almost positive you know how to use that recovery chamber properly. While this is going on, he kept filing grievances with the NFL over his helmet, but the NFL kept denying the request and AB grew more and more angry. The preseason went on, and AB does not play a snap. A week before the regular season starts, AB gets into an altercation with the General Manager of the Raiders, Mike Mayock,  because he was fined for detrimental conduct to the team. Reports say that the exchange was extremely vulgar and that AB had to be held back from physically harming Mayock.  

After that debacle, AB requested a release from the Raiders and was granted it. Then, everyone’s worst nightmare came true, he signed with the New England Patriots. Exactly what Tom Brady needed after putting up 33 points with ease against Pittsburgh. But, then AB’s life as he knew it crashed around him and everything was about to change. Reports started to circulate that AB’s former trainer, Brittany Taylor, accused him of sexual assault on three separate occasions from 2017 to 2018. Not great if you’re AB or the Patriots. AB did and still does deny all allegations. The NFL met with Taylor for over 10 hours on September 16th, 2019 and on September 20th, AB was cut by the Patriots.  

Now, that decision by the Patriots leads me to believe that there is truth to these claims because Bill Bellicheck typically doesn’t care about the noise around his team if he believes the player. That obviously is not the case here. Another reason that led to AB being cut, is that two other women came forward and accused AB of sexual assault as well.  

Let me make this loud and clear, in case me talking about how good he was at football gives you a different idea of what I think; Antonio Brown is an awful, awful person. The claims against him, the threatening text messages he sent to victims, and everything in between, this guy is a bad human. He does not deserve to be in the NFL anymore. I’m glad he lost out on $30 million guaranteed by the Raiders. If you don’t have one brain cell to tell you right from wrong, and what is acceptable versus what is not, you do not deserve that life.  I don’t see how he ever plays football again. Now we wait and let the NFL and the justice system take control of the situation and see what punishments playout for Antonio Brown.