AB’s Tenure As Owner Of Albany Empire Was An Attempt At Grandiosity With No Substance | An “AR In The Car” To Handle His Players?

As the fallout continues from Antonio Brown’s brief tenure as owner of arena league franchise Albany Empire, players are enlightening the world on the inner workings of the team under Brown’s leadership. The word toxic isn’t even suitable anymore, now it can be called downright dangerous.

ESPN reports that shortly after his purchase of an Empire ownership stake Brown was promising the players the types of perks that come with an NFL-level contract. However, he was not transparent about not delivering minor things they wanted.

The Mo Ruffins Effect

For instance, during training camp, players wanted the Empire social media account to give a birthday tribute to former Empire offensive lineman turned Riverwood International Charter School community football coach Moqut “Coach Mo” Ruffins. The former player died last year at age 38.

The Empire posted the tribute, but it was deleted shortly after, baffling the players. A post dated April 6, 2023, was found on the Albany Empire Twitter but it is not confirmed if this is the post in question.

Since the team was not forthcoming with answers at the time surrounding the deletion of the tribute post, three players eventually found Brown at a cigar bar and approached for answers, and that’s when things turned south.

“People were a little frustrated because these guys were close to [Mo],” wide receiver Dwayne Hollis who approached Brown said. “We were there to just talk, to give our views about how that’s wrong.”

Get The Strap

Brown was at the cigar lounge with local sneaker entrepreneur turned Empire front office member Ryan Larkin. he conversation didn’t go as planned.

Eventually, Brown motioned that he would pull a rifle on his players.

“AB looked at Ryan and was like, ‘Hey, man, you still got the AR in the car? Go get it,'” Albany Empire receiver Darius Prince said to ESPN. “Then I was like, I’m not going to allow this dude to walk out of here after you just threatened us. After he said that, things did calm down and we had a conversation. But the fact is that he threatened us by telling his assistant to grab his AR.”

Since Brown’s departure from the team, Albany Empire coaches and players have planned a lawsuit against him. All have contended that game checks were pulled from their bank accounts.

With the National Arena League having kicked out the Empire for Brown’s alleged failure to pay $21,000 in ownership fees, it seems Brown keeps the facade that business is boomin’, but in the case of the Albany Empire the only thing that is moving are lawsuits.

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