Photo of Antonio Brown courtesy of nbcnews.com
By Drew Gallant
When asked early Friday, September 20 about what Antonio Brown’s role would be in the upcoming game against the New York Jets, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick queued up his usual responses, sounding like a broken record player.
“Uh, no. I’m not going to get into that,” said Belichick “We’re going to do what’s best for our team like we always do.”
Five hours later, Brown was released by Belichick and the Patriots. Thus, the frenzied partnership came to an unceremonious end in less than two weeks.
“We appreciate the hard work of many people over the past 11 days, but we feel that it is best to move in a different direction at this time,” read the team statement.
The day after Brown signed with the New England Patriots, Britney Taylor, Brown’s former trainer filed a civil lawsuit against Brown, accusing him of sexually assaulting and raping her on three occasions between 2017 and 2018. Just a few days later, another woman came forward, accusing Brown of exposing himself to her while painting a mural for him in his Pittsburgh home.
The final straw for Brown as a Patriot, was when a group text chain between Brown, a few of his friends (or “henchmen as he called them) and Brown’s second accuser, became leaked to the public. In this conversation, Brown instructed his cronies to investigate her and “look into her background history”.
“Our client is understandably frightened by these text messages, which are clearly intended to threaten and intimidate her,” said the accuser’s lawyer.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft decided that enough was finally enough and it is believed that the call to release Brown came straight from him.
After just 11 days as a Patriot, Brown took to Instagram to thank Tom Brady and Bill Belichick for the opportunity in a pair of posts. Along with a picture of him and Brady celebrating a touchdown in the endzone, Brown added the hashtags ‘#GoWinIt’ and ‘#DoItForMe’. These posts, after such a short tenure on the Patriots, showcase the narcissism that has been on display by Brown.
The following Sunday, Brown’s mood changed again as he unleashed an angry twitter tirade. His targets were former NFL player, now TV personality Shannon Sharpe, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and, most notably, Mr. Kraft. Brown attempted to justify his own actions by citing previous allegations against these others.
These social media antics are just the tip of the iceberg, and his inability to stay away from social media is alarming. After the two women accused Brown of heinous crimes, numerous other people came forward and said he has a long history of ripping people off. These incidents just further showcase the deplorable actions of Antonio Brown.
Sports Illustrated spoke with several people who have worked for Brown who have accused him of failing to pay them for their services.
“There’s something wrong with him,” said Michael Daniel Kolodzi, an attorney representing a client who says Brown owes him money. “He doesn’t feel like he has to pay working-class people.”
Brown once hosted a charity softball game in Pittsburgh, when he was playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2017. At an auction during the event, Brown reportedly fell in love with a portrait of himself and offered to pay $700 for it, far surpassing the winning bid of $450. He promised to pay for it at a later date, but allegedly still has not paid for the painting, more than two years after the fact.
In August, “The Sports Chef”, Stefano Tedeschi sued Brown, alleging that the player refused to pay his $38,521.20 bill. Brown hired him during last season’s Pro Bowl, and asked him to cook for several days, host a culinary show and accommodate almost 50 hungry NFL players. Before the weekend ended, Brown allegedly kicked Tedeschi out of the rented Miami-area mansion and wouldn’t allow him to take his own food or cooking equipment with him.
“I’ve cooked for countless NFL superstars and celebrities,” Tedeschi said. “Never once have I had one problem until now. My food is so good, and my mannerisms in someone’s home [are] second to none.”
These are just a few examples of the despicable behavior that Brown has demonstrated over the years. His inflated ego has given him an unrealistic sense of self, where he believes himself to be above other people. With all of these alleged incidents, it is no surprise that Mr. Kraft and the Patriots decided it was time to move on.