Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Antonio Brown is facing a three-game suspension from the NFL due to a misrepresented COVID-19 vaccination status.
In November, a personal chef who works for the Buccaneers player reported that Brown sought out a fake vaccination card and planned on submitting it to his team. Although the Buccs have come forward and disputed that any of their players’ vaccination cards are forged, Brown, Tampa Bay player Mike Edwards, and free agent John Franklin III are facing suspension for not abiding by the league’s protocols.
Although the NFL does not have specific vaccination requirements, there are rules players must abide by if they choose to not get vaccinated.
“The health and safety of players and personnel is our top priority,” the NFL released in a statement. “The protocols were jointly developed working with our respective experts to ensure that we are practicing and playing football as safely as possible during the ongoing pandemic.”
The Tampa Bay Buccs also seem to respect the league’s decision and offered in their own statement, “We appreciate the League’s timely handling of this matter and recognize the importance of the health and safety protocols that have been established.”
Antonio Brown’s lawyer refutes that the Tampa Bay receiver is unvaccinated
Despite his suspension, Brown’s lawyer Sean Burstyn is insistent that his client is vaccinated and willing to get a booster if given the chance. “Mr. Brown is vaccinated and continues to support the vaccine for any person for whom it is appropriate,” Burstyn said in a statement to PEOPLE.
The legal representative included, “The NFL made its determination and, instead of going through the drawn out and distracting process of challenging the outcome, Mr. Brown wrapped this up promptly and he will use this time as an opportunity to treat his ankle injury.”
These are the same sentiments Burstyn shared last month. In November, the lawyer stated that his client, “was vaccinated and, if a booster eventually becomes advisable, he’ll be happy to air it live on TV.”
“He is happy to turn this into an opportunity to advocate for the safety of vaccines, and finds it a bit confusing that the source of this story would admit to attempting to procure and resell fake vaccination cards,” Brown’s lawyer shared.
Antonio Brown is yet to make a statement on the matter and is expected to return to the field by week 16.
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