Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown has been accused of obtaining a fake COVID-19 vaccination card, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
The Times dropped that shocking news of Steven Ruiz — a former personal chef for the wide receiver — claiming that Brown had his girlfriend, model Cydney Moreau, reach out to Ruiz over the summer to obtain a fake vaccination card that said Brown had received the Johnson & Johnson shot.
According to text messages provided by Ruiz, Moreau offered $500 for a fake card. Brown’s girlfriend denied the allegations to the Times and also said she didn’t know Ruiz.
Hours after the news, the NFL stated they would be looking into the claims.
“We are aware of the report and have been in contact with the club. We will review the matter,” the NFL said in a statement.
The Buccaneers issued a statement about the allegations.
“After an extensive educational process conducted throughout our organization this past offseason highlighting the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccines, we received completed vaccination cards from all Tampa Bay Buccaneers players and submitted the required information to the NFL through the established process in accordance with the league policy,” the team said. “All vaccination cards were reviewed by Buccaneers personnel and no irregularities were observed.”
Brown’s lawyer, Sean Burstyn, also disputed the claims.
“Antonio Brown appreciates the severity of the pandemic, which is why he got the vaccine and supports everyone for whom it is advisable to get the vaccine,” Burstyn texted to the Times. “Coronavirus has hit close to home as it took him out of a game. He is healthy, vaccinated, and ready to win another Super Bowl. … One of the worst parts of the pandemic has been a movement to cast doubt on our country’s vaccination programs with baseless, vindictive tabloid gossip.”
Steven Ruiz stated he is coming out with this news after the two had a falling out over an unpaid $10,000 in services.
In training camp, Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians announced that the team was 100 percent vaccinated — including all players, coaches and team personnel.