Antonio Brown Bringing Chaos As Albany Empire Owner? | AB Reportedly Led “Hostile Takeover,” Refusing To Pay Players And Threatening Arena League Coach

Ex-NFL WR Antonio Brown is making headlines again for the wrong reasons. According to reports, he has allegedly locked out specific players of the Albany Empire from their hotel rooms, and made “violent threats’ to them. AB is a part owner of the National Arena League team.

Empire head coach Damon Ware and quarterback Sam Castronova have both alleged that they’ve been ostracized from other members of the organization after speaking out against the mercurial former NFL wide receiver. It has also been alleged that AB has not paid his players since April 21.

Tom Menas  — who previously served as head coach and led the Empire to two championships — will return to his former position of head coach. But he was fired days before the season began.

What A Mess. What Is AB Doing?

Ware classifies AB’s ownership of the Empire as a “hostile takeover.” When the former All-Pro WR joined the ownership group in March he allegedly threw money at the team’s other owners to move them out of the way and exert more influence and control.

AB has a 95 percent ownership stake and according to reports has been mismanaging the team.

While Ware was head coach he said AB was difficult to deal with and that the Super Bowl champ has been unwilling to help improve the squad.

AB Has Albany Ties Through His AFL Legend Dad

It should be noted that AB’s father, “Touchdown” Eddie Brown, was an Arena football legend. He played football for the Albany Firebirds, won the ArenaBowl XIII in 1999, was ArenaBowl MVP, and was named the AFL’s Most Valuable Player.

Ware said when he would try to connect with AB about paying the players their salaries, AB would get angry and make threats.

Players expect to receive their game checks after each game played and once it had been a couple weeks with no checks, they considered sitting out in protest.

The players eventually decided to suit up and play when they were shown an apparent payment confirmation. But Castronova said players were still without their money following last Sunday’s game.

Several players confronted team officials on their bus ride back from North Carolina. When they arrived back at their team hotel, Ware, the team captains, and several other players discovered their room keys no longer worked. They were told by hotel staffers it was AB’s doing.

The players had to plead with housekeeping to let them into their rooms to collect their belongings.

“It became all about him, not the football team,” Ware said. “We built a wonderful organization over three years — he came in and killed it.”

This is manic and childish behavior by a team owner. The National Arena League leadership has to be aware of what’s going on and if this continues they might have to step in.

AB has been spiraling out of control with negative behavior for years now. What he’s doing with this Arena League team isn’t surprising. But not paying people their salaries is wrong. Players in these leagues aren’t playing for multimillion dollar NFL contracts. They likely work other jobs as well to keep their football dreams alive.

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