Wide receiver Antonio Brown insists that he did not quit on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, alleging instead that he was “fired on the sideline for having a painful injury.”
In a lengthy statement released Wednesday night by his attorney Sean Burstyn, Brown laid out his version of what happened in the sideline confrontation that led to his ouster from the team, calling Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians’ account “100% inaccurate.”
Brown said that that against his better judgement, he “relented to pressure directly from my coach to play” through an ankle injury in Sunday’s game against the New York Jets and that the Buccaneers staff “injected me with what I now know was a powerful and sometimes dangerous painkiller that the (NFL Players Association) has warned against using.” Brown added that he “gave it my all for the team” but sat down once it became clear that he couldn’t safely play at a high level, which he claims upset Arians.
The coach said Monday that he was not informed by the medical staff that Brown was hurt in any manner, but Arians declined to specify the contents of the conversation that he had with Brown.
Asked about Brown’s reason for removing his pads and jersey and subsequently waving to fans and leaving the field, Arians said, “You’ll have to ask him, brother.”
Brown alleged that he had a back-and-forth with Arians about his health before the coach told him he was no longer part of the team for refusing to play.
“As part of their ongoing cover-up, they are acting like I wasn’t cut and now demanding that I see a doctor of their choice to examine my ankle,” Brown said.
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Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown (81) walks on the field during an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, in…