First it was blistered feet from failing to follow safety protocol in a cryo chamber after floating into training camp in a hot air balloon. Then it was a personal safety protest because he couldn’t use his favorite helmet after it didn’t pass NFL safety protocol. Finally, it was an Instagram post criticizing the Raiders for fining him for missing large chunks of camp sulking. In all, Antonio Brown has already been a headache not worth the trouble in the first year of his Raiders contract and I’m glad the franchise is putting its foot down and suspending the problematic talent.
If Brown actually does suit up (barring some other clownish diva issue he decides to whine about), the dude better perform like the superstar he believes himself to be. This clown show is a tired old act and the reason why his teammates in Pittsburgh didn’t bat an eye when he was shown the door.
The suspension is the culmination of months of Brown’s public garbage but his Instagram post was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Brown and general manager Mike Mayock allegedly “got into it” Wednesday. Brown allegedly threatened to punch Mayock in the face then punted a football down the hallways, saying “Fine me for that.” This kind of behavior is for children, not pros, and warrants a suspension or even worse.
— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) September 4, 2019
Most normal human beings enter a new job trying to build important relationships so team unity can thrive and the entire collective can succeed. Brown’s obvious dedication is selfishly committed to himself, and himself alone. Bad teammate. Seemingly bad person. Definitely bad singer (see Masked Singer). Enough is enough. Put up or shut up, AB, or take a hike.
Jon Gruden and Co. have been trying to cover for Brown’s malcontent attitude all preseason but enough is enough. When he was hurt because he failed to follow safety protocol during his cryo treatment, earning frostbite, Gruden still tried to defend him.
“I support this guy. I think that’s what needs to be said,” Gruden said after the first preseason game. “I don’t know what anybody’s writing or what anybody thinks, but this foot injury wasn’t his fault. This was a total accident. It really wasn’t his fault, and it’s a serious injury. I know that some people are [joking about] it, but it’s really not a laughing matter. The guy is hurt, he didn’t do anything wrong, and the helmet thing is a personal matter to him.”
Slowly, Gruden started changing his tune, especially after the stupid helmet issue.
“We’ve known the whole time,” Gruden privately tells a Raiders staffer, while taking aggressive bites of a granola bar. “He had frostbite, he took four or five days to get it checked out, and we knew about the grievance since the first day of OTAs, which we did. I don’t know what the story is, the fucking story is around here.”
“We’ve tried everything really, I give the guy credit for standing up for what he believes in. Everybody else does in this country.”
Now? Forget about it. You miss work, you pay the price so, when the dude sulked and skipped out on training camp while his fellow teammates worked hard to prepare for the season, he was given a $54,000 fine for missing an Aug. 18 practice and then a walk-through for the Raiders’ preseason “home” game in Winnipeg. Of course Brown took to social media to complain, again showing he is all about self and not the collective.
“WHEN YOUR OWN TEAM WANT TO HATE BUT THERE’S NO STOPPING ME NOW DEVIL IS A LIE. EVERYONE GOT TO PAY THIS YEAR SO WE CLEAR,” Brown wrote over a photo of the fine letter from general manager Mike Mayock.
This is an issue. Brown should be suspended, without pay, for his continued lack of commitment to the deal he signed with the Raiders. He’s paid to play and the only thing he’s done is play games with everyone else. His attitude alone could be bad enough to ruin the entire locker room.
I applaud the Raiders for taking a stand for every other man in that locker room working their ass off to become a championship franchise once again. Brown won’t find much sympathy next year, either, as Las Vegas sports fans hate divas and Vegas fans don’t tend to forgive easy. He’ll end up being Darth Vader and his comps in Vegas will most definitely dry up before he gets here.
Truth be told, if Brown doesn’t get his shit together, sooner or later, Richie Incognito is going to actually lay hands on him and punt his clown ass down the hall — and that’s a battle Brown loses every day of the week and twice on Sundays.