Antonio Brown Fired from Buccaneers

Estephania Anaya-Lopez, Reporter/Editor

Four days after WR Antonio Brown’s outburst in the third quarter of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New York Jets game, the Buccaneers announced that they had “terminated the contract of Antonio Brown, effective immediately” on Thursday, through their Twitter account.

The firing comes not long after Brown released a statement through his lawyer, Sean Burstyn, in which the WR claims to have been “fired on the sideline for having a painful injury.” While Brown maintains to have “relented to pressure directly from my coach to play injured” and to have been “injected…with what I now know was a powerful and sometimes dangerous painkiller that the NFLPA has warned against using”, Bruce Arians–the Buccaneers’ head coach–said, “I was never notified of [the ankle injury]…He refused to go in the game.” Arians continued, “That’s when I looked back and saw him wave off the coach. I then…approached him about what was going on.” 

Arians contend that Brown said, “I ain’t playing,” to which Arians asked, “What’s going on?”

Reportedly, Brown answered, “I ain’t getting the ball.” Arians acknowledged that, after the brief exchange, he remarked to Brown, “You’re done…”, and indicated towards the exit, but mentions that he did not “[run] his finger across his throat,” as Brown attested in his initial statement.

After the statement, Brown proceeded to post screenshots of a text conversation between himself and Arians, taking place between Thursday, December 30, and Friday, December 31, days before the Jets game, in which Arians sends, “We ARE NOT resting for the playoffs” and Brown mentions his injury.

Despite the confusion about whether the ordeal was caused by Brown’s lack of targets or Arians’ negligence, Brown was cut nonetheless and is, according to his lawyer, planning to take legal action against the Bucs for “perceived damage to the rest of Brown’s career.”