Update: Tampa Bay Buccaneers release statement on Antonio Brown vaccine status
“After an extensive educational process conducted throughout our organization this past offseason highlighting the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccines, we received completed vaccination cards from all Tampa Bay Buccaneers players and submitted the required information to the NFL through the established process in accordance with league policy,” the statement read. ” All vaccination cards were reviewed by Buccaneers personnel and no irregularities were observed.”
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown missed a game earlier this season after testing positive for COVID-19. At the time, Brown was said to be vaccinated.
If these allegations from his former personal chef are true, that might not have been the case. It could also have the seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver in some hot water with both the NFL and law enforcement.
According to Steven Ruiz, who has fallen out of favor with Antonio Brown, the wide receiver attempted to buy a fake COVID-19 vaccine card to satisfy NFL vaccine mandates.
“Bucs receiver Antonio Brown obtained a fake COVID-19 vaccination card so he could avoid NFL protocols, according to his former live-in chef,” Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times notes. “Brown’s girlfriend, model Cydney Moreau, told Los Angeles chef Steven Ruiz in a text message July 2 that Brown was willing to pay $500 if he could get a Johnson & Johnson vaccination card.”
Text messages between the two claim to have Moreau saying that Brown would pay $500 for the fake Johnson & Johnson vaccine card. The reasoning? Less paperwork to get caught.
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Antonio Brown fake COVID-19 vaccine card and Tom Brady indirect involvement
According to the report, Ruiz claimed he was unable to get Brown a fake vaccine card. A few weeks later, he said that the Buccaneers wide receiver showed him fake vaccination cards, which were allegedly purchased for Brown and Moreau.
This is where it gets even more interesting.
“Alex Guerrero, a personal trainer and co-founder of TB12 with Tom Brady, arrived at Brown’s house the same night to help the 33-year-old Pro Bowler recover from knee surgery. According to Ruiz, Guerrero took a photograph of Brown’s vaccination card while he was there,” the report read.
According to Ruiz, Guerrero was unaware that the cards were fake. Apparently, he took the photos to provide to the Buccaneers’ organization as proof that Antonio Brown was indeed vaccinated. It was common practice at the time to expedite receiving evidence of vaccination for players.
As for Antonio Brown, his lawyer denies these allegations.
“Antonio Brown appreciates the severity of the pandemic, which is why he got the vaccine and supports everyone for whom it is advisable to get the vaccine. Coronavirus has hit close to home as it took him out of a game. He is healthy, vaccinated, and ready to win another Super Bowl,” Sean Burstyn said in a text to the Times. “One of the worst parts of the pandemic has been a movement to cast doubt on our country’s vaccination programs with baseless, vindictive tabloid gossip.”
If these allegations are proven true, Brown faces both a suspension and fine from the NFL. Local authorities might also get involved by virtue of a criminal investigation.
It also must be noted that Ruiz and Brown are not on talking terms with the former claiming he’s owed $10,000 in unpaid wages.