Antonio Brown has broken his silence. In a lengthy statement through his attorney Sean Burstyn, the veteran wide receiver explained his side of the situation that unfolded on Sunday where he departed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers sideline in the midst of their matchup against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium.
Brown is alleging that the team is engaging an ongoing “cover-up” surrounding his injured ankle. He noted in the statement that an MRI on his ankle revealed “broken bone fragments stuck in my ankle, the ligament torn from the bone, and cartilage loss, which are beyond painful.” He is also set to undergo surgery on that ankle.
Prior reports highlighted this injury as the main catalyst for Brown’s outburst on the sideline and subsequent departure from the team in the middle of the game. Brown reportedly got into a spat with head coach Bruce Arians as he tried to get him into the game he the receiver refused. Once he refused to enter the game upon another request from Arians, the coach is said to have told him to “get out.”
Brown highlighted this situation in his full statement via his attorney, which you can read in its entirety below:
First of all, I’d like to express my gratitude to the Bucs, fans, and my teammates. The Bucs helped me return to productive football after I had difficulties that could have ended my career. We worked together to resolve those difficulties, and I will always appreciate that. Being part of a Super Bowl champion team and then a contender is a dream come true.
I make mistakes. I’m working on myself and I have positive influences around me. But one thing I don’t do is shy away from playing hard on the field. No one can accuse me of not giving it my all every play.
Because of my commitment to the game, I relented to pressure directly from my coach to play injured. Despite the pain, I suited up, the staff injected me with what I now know was a…