This is a simple story. It’s a story about a good person and how he allowed himself, and his team, to be compromised by a crappy one.
Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians has long been one of the NFL’s good people. He’s almost singlehandedly shown how teams can win with diverse staffs in a league that has few. He is adored by players. Coaches around the league both publicly and privately say he’s one of the most respected people in the NFL. Not just coaches … people.
“If you miss a football game, or recital, anything to do with your children,” he once said, “I’ll fire you.”
That’s typical Arians.
He’s principled, decent and honorable. But we also now know that in many ways, Bruce Arians is just like many other coaches. He’s willing to compromise his values and beliefs for talent. That’s exactly what he’s doing in the case of Antonio Brown who, unlike Arians, is one of the worst people in the sport. In all of sports.
Brown has dragged Arians into the sewer system with him, and instead of fighting and kicking and screaming so he doesn’t have to swim in those murky depths, Arians willingly let Brown take him there.
Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians celebrates with the Lombardi Trophy after winning the Super Bowl.
Brown has been accused of multiple sexual assaults, pled no contest to felony battery and burglary charges, been accused of stiffing people who’ve done various work for him, as well as other alleged acts of mischief, indecency and depravity. The NFL suspended Brown eight games in July 2020.
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One of the worst things he did was allegedly lie about his vaccination status. Brown’s deception came to light after a former chef for Brown sued him for unpaid bills, and subsequently made the accusation public. The NFL investigated and suspended Brown and two other players for three games.