Following Antonio Brown‘s swift exit from the Buccaneers vs. Jets game on Sunday, the 33-year-old athlete has been released as a free agent.
In the middle of the game, the wide receiver was seen stripping his helmet and equipment from his body before he promptly stormed off the field. Following this occurrence, Tampa Bay’s head coach Bruce Arians expressed that Brown’s time with the Buccaneers would be coming to a close due to his actions.
However, the athlete himself has come forward with his side of the story and expressed that he was pressured by Arians into leaving the Buccs.
Prior to the game, Brown took a leave of absence to recover from a sprained ankle injury. Although Arians claimed that his player was cleared by the NFL to play, the athlete expressed that he was still in a great deal of pain. In a detailed letter, the player alleged he would be cut from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers if he did not play during the game.
Antonio Brown claims that Bruce Arian lied on national television
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“Coach was telling me that if I didn’t play hurt, then I was done with the Bucs,” the NFL star wrote in a letter that expressed his side of the story. He added the sentiments, “I didn’t quit. I was cut. Being fired on the sideline for having a painful injury was bad enough [but then] Coach denied on national television that he knew about my ankle. That’s 100% inaccurate.”
In addition, the former Tampa Bay player released a screenshot that showed him and Arians discussing his injury prior to the game.
Yet, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have denied these accusations. “At no point during that game did he ever ask the trainer or doctor about his ankle — that’s the normal protocol,” the head coach reported during a press conference on Thursday. He included, “We go through protocols during games. I was never notified of it. Obviously, that was a disturbing thing. We were looking for him to go back into the game.”
The team also released a statement following the event, which disregarded Brown’s claims. According to ESPN, it read, “He was cleared to play by our medical team prior to the start of the game and at no point during the game did he indicate to our medical personnel that he could not play.
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