There may be more than meets the eye with the Antonio Brown drama that occurred on Sunday, which led to his eventual exit from the field.
Brown left the field in a hurry on Sunday against the New York Jets, but he did make a scene first. AB took off his jersey and pads, pumping up the MetLife Stadium crowd on his way out. Stadium security reportedly thought he was a fan who ran onto the field.
There’s more to this story, of course — Brown hopped in a car service and went straight to the airport. Per Bruce Arians, Brown was no longer a member of the Bucs the minute he left the sideline.
But is that all that happened? Reports suggest that Brown was dealing with a lingering ankle injury, which may have contributed to his request not to be put back in the game at that very moment. Tom Brady, Brown’s good friend, wished AB the best and said fans should have some sympathy for him.
Tom Brady: Antonio Brown deserves our sympathy
“I didn’t understand kind of what was happening until after the game,” Brady said. “I didn’t understand what transpired and I saw after the game Mike [Evans] was trying to talk to Antonio and so was O.J. [Howard]. And I know Bruce [Arians] was also. Again, it was just a very difficult situation for everybody involved.
“I’ve known Antonio for a couple years now, you know, pretty closely,” he said. “We’ve obviously been teammates and I would just say I love him, I care about him, and I have a lot of compassion. I have a lot of empathy for the things that are happening in his life. So, it’s a lot of challenges we all face from time to time. I think the best thing is to have a support system, even outside of football, because again, yeah, we are football players, we’re athletes, we give everything we can on the field, but we also have off field lives, too. And I’m gonna continue to do everything I can to try to be a great friend and supportive to Antonio and the things he’s going through.”
Brady went on to cite other athletes — such as Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka — who have taken breaks from the sport to benefit their mental health. While TB12 didn’t explicitly say that Brown has a mental health problem, perhaps this was more than just Brown drawing attention to himself.