Antonio Brown breaks silence on leaving Buccaneers, accuses workforce of cover-up relating to injured ankle


Antonio Brown has damaged his silence. In a prolonged assertion via his lawyer Sean Burstyn, the veteran extensive receiver defined his facet of the state of affairs that unfolded on Sunday the place he departed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers sideline within the midst of their matchup in opposition to the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. 

Brown is alleging that the workforce is partaking an ongoing “cover-up” surrounding his injured ankle. He famous within the assertion that an MRI on his ankle revealed “damaged bone fragments caught in my ankle, the ligament torn from the bone, and cartilage loss, that are past painful.” He’s additionally set to endure surgical procedure on that ankle. 

Prior stories highlighted this harm as the principle catalyst for Brown’s outburst on the sideline and subsequent departure from the workforce in the course of the sport. Brown reportedly acquired right into a spat with head coach Bruce Arians as he tried to get him into the sport he the receiver refused. As soon as he refused to enter the sport upon one other request from Arians, the coach is claimed to have informed him to “get out.” 

Brown highlighted this case in his full assertion by way of his lawyer, which you’ll be able to learn in its entirety under: 

Initially, I might like to specific my gratitude to the Bucs, followers, and my teammates. The Bucs helped me return to productive soccer after I had difficulties that might have ended my profession. We labored collectively to resolve these difficulties, and I’ll at all times admire that. Being a part of a Tremendous Bowl champion workforce after which a contender is a dream come true. 

I make errors. I am engaged on myself and I’ve optimistic influences round me. However one factor I do not do is draw back from taking part in exhausting on the sphere. Nobody can accuse me of not giving it my all each play. 

Due to my dedication to the sport, I relented to stress instantly from my coach to play injured. Regardless of the ache, I suited up, the workers injected me with what I now know was a robust and typically harmful painkiller that the NFLPA has warned in opposition to utilizing, and I gave it my all for the workforce. I performed till it was clear that I couldn’t use my ankle to securely carry out my taking part in tasks. On high of that, the ache was excessive. I took a seat on the sideline and my coach got here as much as me, very upset, and shouted, “What’s flawed with you? What’s flawed with you?” I informed him, “It is my ankle.” However he knew that. It was well-documented and We had mentioned it. He then ordered me to get on the sphere. I stated, “Coach, I am unable to.” He did not name for medical consideration. As an alternative, he shouted at me, “YOU’RE DONE!” whereas he ran his finger throughout his throat. Coach was telling me that if I did not play harm, then I used to be performed with the Bucs. 

I did not give up. I used to be minimize. I did not stroll away from my brothers. I used to be thrown out. Being fired on the sideline for having a painful harm was unhealthy sufficient. Then got here their “spin.” Coach denied on nationwide tv that he knew about my ankle. That is 100% inaccurate. Not solely did he know I missed a number of video games with the harm, he and I exchanged texts days earlier than the sport the place he clearly acknowledged my harm. He clearly knew I used to be on the harm listing. And the GM acknowledged after the sport in textual content messages to my camp that I did inform coach about my ankle ache on Sunday. 

I do know we had been dropping to the Jets and that was irritating for all of us. However I couldn’t make soccer performs on that ankle. Sure, I
walked off the sphere. However there is a main distinction between launching from the road and taking hits, in comparison with jogging off the sphere with a rush of feelings going via your thoughts. I’m reflecting on my response, however there was a set off. The set off was somebody telling me that I am not allowed to really feel ache. I acknowledge my previous. However my previous doesn’t make me a second class citizen. My previous doesn’t forfeit my proper to be heard when I’m in ache. 

First they minimize me. Now they cage me. As an alternative of asking how I felt or attending to the underside of it, the workforce texted my camp selling a completely false narrative that I randomly acted out with none clarification. They even informed us in writing “do not spin this” every other means. I’ve stress, I’ve issues I have to work on. However the worst a part of this has been the Bucs’ repeated effort to painting this as a random outburst. They’re telling folks that first I walked off, then I used to be minimize. No. No. No. I used to be minimize first after which I went house. They threw me out like an animal and I refused to put on their model on my physique, so I took my jersey off. 

As a part of their ongoing cover-up, they’re performing like I wasn’t minimize and now demanding that I see a health care provider of their selection to look at my ankle. What they didn’t know till now’s that on Monday morning I had an pressing MRI on my ankle. It exhibits damaged bone fragments caught in my ankle, the ligament torn from the bone, and cartilage loss, that are past painful. You possibly can see the bone bulging from the surface. However that should and might be repaired. The MRI has been learn by two high orthopedic surgeons in NYC, together with Dr. Martin O’Malley at Hospital for Particular Surgical procedure. Not realizing that I had already scheduled a surgical procedure at HSS, the Bucs “ordered” me underneath penalty of self-discipline and with a number of hours’ discover to indicate as much as a extra junior physician at HSS for one more opinion. What a joke. They’re taking part in like I wasn’t minimize, giving me a shock assault “order” to indicate as much as one other physician with no affordable discover, and setting this complete factor up as a foundation to chop me as a result of what they did on Sunday was not official. Sorry, GM. I already acquired a confirming opinion from the Prime Doc on the hospital you “ordered” me to go to. 

I really like the Bucs followers. I actually do. I really like my teammates and everybody who confirmed me grace and believed in me. I gave the Bucs every little thing I had on the sphere. What the group is doing now must get cleaned up. I don’t perceive how folks publicly claiming to be involved about my psychological well being can do this stuff to me in personal. 

As soon as my surgical procedure is full, I will be again to 100% and looking out ahead to subsequent season. Enterprise gonna be BOOMIN!

At across the identical time Brown’s assertion was launched, Burstyn took to social media and wrote a Twitter thread additional condemning the Buccaneers for his or her alleged actions towards his shopper. 

“Why would they embark on a marketing campaign of false concealment?” Burstyn wrote, partly. “To keep away from accountability for ignoring the chance of significant harm for the sake of successful a recreation.”

It ought to be famous that Arians was requested on Monday if there have been any points on the workforce’s facet relating to the dealing with of Brown’s ankle harm and rehab. To that query, he answered: “None in anyway. He was cleared to play final week [and] performed [well]. And [he was] cleared to play this week.”

Brown remains to be technically on Tampa Bay’s roster although Arians did announce instantly following the sport that he’s “now not a Buc.” The workforce is reportedly working with the NFL to find out the subsequent steps to solidify his looming departure. 





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