‘He Is No Longer A Buc … End Of Story’ | Antonio Brown’s Lunacy Leads To Another Legendary Tom Brady Moment

(Photo: (Screenshot/DirectTV)

One of Antonio Brown’s unpredictable and goofy outbursts resulted in another legendary moment for Tampa Bay Bucs quarterback Tom Brady, who urged everyone to “be compassionate” with the controversial wide receiver. 

As the struggling Bucs trailed the lowly New York Jets 24-20 in the third quarter on Sunday, Antonio “Whole Lotta Money” Brown decided to walk off the field in the middle of the game, taking off his equipment and his shirt, leaving him bare-chested as he ran across the field into the tunnel, totally abandoning his team.

You’d have to believe that Antonio Brown probably played his last game in the NFL.

He also found time to post on IG.

(Photo: @AB/Instagram)

Head coach Bruce Arians let it be known after the game that AB’s services would no longer be needed in Tampa.  

Some of Brown’s teammates, including fellow wideout Mike Evans, tried to convince Brown to chill out and remain with the team, but we’ve all come to discover that nobody tells AB how to move. Whatever happened, he felt it was enough to straight bail out on the defending Super Bowl champions. 

AB was predictably dragged through the social media mosh pit, and NFL announcer and former Dallas Cowboys player, Daryl “Moose” Johnston had a mouthful for Brown on a day when they were honoring the legacy of John Madden, who was probably rolling in his grave at the sight of Brown without a shirt and behaving so outlandishly that security initially mistook him for a streaking fan. 

“He has to be let go from the team,” Johnson said with outrage. “There’s too much at stake for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers… to have somebody within their team creating distractions and being a problem  And the way Brady’s gone out on a limb for him…We’ll see if the NFL takes disciplinary action.” 

You’d think that after the fake vaccination card suspension, AB would play it cool, but there’s no chill in his wiring. 

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A Tale Of Two Men 

What we saw wasn’t just another tantrum by an entitled athlete. It was a tale of two men. The seven-time Super Bowl champion who was probably beside himself when the guy who he vouched for, took into his home, and whose NFL career he saved, just basically gave him the finger in the heat of battle. 

It’s the ultimate disrespect. Who could blame Brady for never accepting Brown’s call again?

Brady Asks For Compassion For Brown

Instead, Brady asked everyone to be empathetic with Brown. The captain said he didn’t know what was going on until after the game.

Brown’s teammate Le’Veon Bell also offered his support for one of his closest friends in the postgame presser. The tandem were also Pro Bowlers together in Pittsburgh.

“Overall good person, ” Bell said about Brown. “Obviously some bad decision making sometime…he’s human, he’s not perfect we’ll continue to move on without him and keep moving forward.”

The talented and embattled wide receiver — who should be preparing for a trip to the Pro Bowl and another Super Bowl run — sadly hasn’t learned to control the demons inside. Brown’s ego, insecurities, selfishness and thirst to command the stage regardless of the circumstance remains his downfall at 33 years of age.  

Maybe he does need mental health counseling, but this kind of erratic behavior by Brown is nothing new. He certainly doesn’t need the money, because he keeps blowing bags. 

If Antonio Brown needs mental counseling and teams are signing him but not providing the resources he needs outside of football, then shame on them. However, Brown can’t continue to violate people and disrespect relationships. In the world of business, there are professional ways to handle things, and guys like Tom Brady get it. The Antonio Browns seem to forget that there’s other people in the room. 

There’s a narrative circulating that Bucs ownership instructed Arians to bench Brown for the next two games so he doesn’t collect his $1M bonus. That would seem extremely petty if Tampa Bay did that. On the other hand, maybe ownership was scolding Brown for embarrasing the franchise in the past.

If true, some feel Brown is justified in his actions.

However, ESPN reports that Arians told them that he asked AB to go into the game twice and he refused so “Arians told him to leave.” And didn’t know why Brown refused.

Not A Matter Of Good vs. Evil 

Everyone has their transgressions and personality flaws. When it comes to respecting the game and representing your family, the fan base and those who look up to you, then it’s not hard to understand why Brady has elevated to almost mythical standing as an athlete, teammate and winner. 

Brown, on the other hand, has survived because of his incredible talent and a few good men who have vouched for him when the NFL and the NFL community were ready to turn their backs on the perennial All-Pro.

Mike Tomlin gave him a ton of chances in Pittsburgh before Brown’s negativity permeated the locker room to a degree that was unbearable for the Pittsburgh Steelers franchise. He signed with Oakland and couldn’t make it out of the preseason without being released. He messed up his opportunity with the Patriots, playing just one game before the NFL announced it was investigating him for multiple accusations of inappropriate sexual behavior, including rape.

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Brown’s actions were nothing short of embarrasing. To quit in the middle of a crucial game in which the Bucs were trailing and needed his assistance is unforgiveable.  Let’s not call it anything else.

Leaving On His Own Terms

There were some people in the Twittersphere that suggested Brown has a right to “leave on his own terms.” 

Unfortunately there are lines of disrespect within sports culture that even a diva wide receiver knows he can’t cross. One of the first principles taught to a young athlete is to never quit on your team. 

It’s something that Tom Brady never did no matter how bleak the circumstances. Plenty of fans and media have given Brown the benefit of the doubt through all of the legal transgressions, misogyny and throwing teammates under the bus. 

This latest antic cuts to the core of what being a teammate is. Brown came to work and quit before lunch. You don’t rehire guys like that. In fact, why would any company invest in a person who doesn’t respect a code of ethics and lives like a rolling stone, plowing through anyone who doesn’t kiss the ring. He’s like an insolent child at times.  

In the larger scheme of things, Brown’s actions highlighted the special 44-year-old Bucs quarterback who remained laser focused in the midst of sideline drama, leading his team down the field for the winning drive for the umpteenth time.

A man’s character is judged by how he reacts in the face of adversity. Look no further than the actions of Tom Brady and Antonio Brown. There’s a reason why we call one the GOAT and won’t be calling the other a Hall of Famer anytime soon.


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JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.