In a lengthy statement, Brown says the coaches knew of his ankle injury but were mad that he told them he was in pain.
After his angry exit during Sunday’s game when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were facing off against the New York Jets, Antonio Brown is telling his side of the story. The sports world paused when Brown was captured tearing off his uniform while on the sidelines, and for days, fans and commentators have speculated as to what actually occurred to evoke such a reaction.
It was announced almost immediately that the Bucs had released Brown and there were rumors that he was having trouble with an aggravated ankle injury. Brown penned a lengthy explanation on social media.
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“The Bucs helped me return to productive football after I had difficulties that could have ended my career. We worked together to resolve those difficulties, and I will always appreciate that,” wrote Brown. “Being apart of a Super Bowl champion team and then a contender is a dream come true. I make mistakes. I’m working on myself and I have positive influences around me. But one thing I don’t do is shy away from playing hard on the field. No one can accuse me of not giving it my all every play.”
Brown claims that he was committed to the game so, he “relented to pressure directly from” the Bucs coach “to play injured.” The NFL star said he was in pain but still, he “suited up” before “the staff injected me with what I now know was a powerful and sometimes dangerous painkiller that the NFLPA has warned against using.”
He added that he went out onto the field and did his best, but “the pain was extreme” so he had to sit on the sideline. The coach was reportedly upset and questioned Brown. “‘It’s my ankle.’ But he knew that. It was well-documented and we had discussed it. He then ordered me to get on the field.”
Brown claims that he told the coach he couldn’t do it. “He didn’t call for medical attention. Instead, he shouted at me, ‘YOU’RE DONE!’ while he ran his fingers across his throat. Coach was telling me that if I didn’t play hurt, then I was done with the Bucs. I didn’t quit. I was cut.”
He later visited a doctor and found out there were “broken bone fragments stuck in” his ankle and his injuries were worse than expected. Brown will reportedly undergo surgery and according to him, the Bucs are demanding he visit their junior doctor after he has already seen several top medical professionals.
Read Antonio Brown’s statement in full below.