Skip to main content

Antonio Brown releases statement, blasts Bruce Arians and Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Vincent Frank
NFL injury report, Antonio Brown
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown has been quiet since the drama-filled situation he was involved in during Sunday’s game against the New York Jets.

By now, it’s well known that Brown exited in the middle of Tampa Bay’s comeback road win. The seven-time Pro Bowler was seen taking off his jersey and gesturing to the fans as he left the field.

Following the game, Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians announced that Brown was no longer the member of the organization. That came after reports (likely from Brown’s camp) concluded that the veteran was not healthy enough to play and was dealing with an ankle injury.

Antonio Brown has now released a statement via his attorney announcing that he’s undergoing ankle surgery and absolutely laying into the Buccaneers, Mr. Arians included. It’s something else. It also includes some potentially earth-shattering allegations.

Related: Updated NFL Playoff and Super Bowl predictions

Antonio Brown accuses Buccaneers of pushing painkillers

antonio brown claims tampa bay buccaneers
Jan 2, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown (81) on the field before the game against the New York Jets during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

“Because of my commitment to the game, I relented to pressure directly from my coach to play injured. Despite the pain, I suited up, the staff injected me with what I now know was a powerful and sometimes dangerous painkiller that the NFLPA has warned against using, and I gave it my all for the team,” the statement read.

Brown then went directly at Bruce Arians.

“I played until it was clear that I could not use my ankle to safely perform my playing responsibilities. On top of that, the pain was extreme. I took a seat on the sideline and my coach came up to me, very upset, and shouted ‘what’s wrong with you? what’s wrong with you?’ I told him ‘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. I said, ‘coach, I can’t.’ He didn’t call for medical attention. Instead, he shouted at me, ‘you’re done’ while he ran his finger across his throat.”

Antonio Brown alleges that he didn’t quit. Rather, he was simply released by the Buccaners. He also pushed back against Arians’ claim that the wide receiver never mentioned an injury during their sideline altercation. Brown also says he exhanged texts with Arians on the eve of the game in which the head coach acknowledged the injury.

Antonio Brown to undergo surgery

Oct 14, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown (81) against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

In his statement, Brown indicates that the Buccaneers are engaged in an “ongoing cover-up” while demanding that he sees a doctor of their choice. By not officially releasing him, the wide receiver feels that he’s being “caged.”

According to Brown, he’s slated to undergo surgery to repair broken bone fragments stuck in his ankle with the “ligament from from the bone.”

Antonio Brown attorney also releases statement

Brown’s lawyer, Sean Burstyn also released a statement on Twitter shorly after the aforementioned statement credited to the wide receiver was leaked to the media.

“Antonio Brown never faked an injury in his life. It is incredible that people are pushing false rumors that what happened Sunday was the result of mental health issues and not a well-known ankle injury. Mental health is important, but so is basic dignity.”

Read the rest of Burstyn’s statement in the thread here.

There’s obviously going to be a whole lot more on this drama-filled situation in the coming days. For now, Tampa Bay has not officially released Antonio Brown. The team also made it clear on its injury report that Brown was absent for “personal reasons” and said absence wasn’t injury-related.