Antonio Brown Melts Down Mid-Game


Andrew Mills, AP

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown gestures to the crowd as he leaves the field while his team’s offense is on the field against the New York Jets.

Josh Berty, Staff Writer

During a game against the New York Jets on January 2nd, Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown ripped off his jersey and left in the middle of the game in a seemingly unprovoked manner. 

On the sidelines during the game, Antonio Brown appeared to refuse to go back on the field. Brown later claimed that he did not want to be played because of an injury. Head Coach Bruce Arians could be seen telling Antonio Brown to “get out” and has since denied that Brown’s ankle was injured. Arians claims he was yelling at Brown for sitting out on the sidelines. 

Brown said in his statement that he had discussed his ankle injury with his coach a week prior, but during the game Arians still insisted on playing him. Before playing Brown, Arians is reported to have said, “What’s wrong with you?” in response to Brown attempting to sit out.

Additionally, Brown claimed in his statement that he was fired instead of quit. When talking about coach Arians, Brown said that he was told that if he didn’t play hurt, he would be fired from the team.

Critics speculate that this meltdown may have occurred because of Brown’s contract with the Bucs. The contract was worth a million dollars and included incentives based on a certain number of catches and the number of yards gained for Brown to get the full amount of money. Because Brown was hurt and couldn’t perform at his best, he could have felt that this contract was unfair. Some analysts have speculated that this could have also led to Brown being mad at the team and could have contributed to his outburst.

After Brown’s outburst, Arians stated on the night of the Game that Brown was  “no longer a Buc.” even after all that was said Antonio Brown may still be a part of the team. The team has not formally released him and the team is even trying to dictate his medical treatment.

While it seems Brown still could be a part of the Bucs this seems very unlikely and he is most likely done with the Bucs after his outburst. Brown says he wants to return to football after he has recovered and he may be on a new team next season.