Antonio Brown made the fatal mistake of ever trying to own a football team, because nothing has gone right for him and everyone that is involved. The former Pittsburgh Steelers wideout had become part-owner of the two-time championship-winning team in March before taking over majority ownership in May.
Things have only gotten worse for him this week.
The former NFL star turned owner of the Albany Empire of the National Arena League is facing a possible class-action lawsuit from some Empire players and coaches, according to the Times Union of Albany.
Empire coach Moe Leggett alleged that the staff and players were paid following the Empire’s final game against the Orlando Predators earlier this month, but then he alleges players and coaches noticed the checks had been reversed and taken out of their bank accounts, the Times Union reported.
The players are owed $500 or more from that game, according to the report.
The coach stated he had tried to believe in Brown, but that the trust had deteriorated.
“I’m frustrated,” Leggett said to the Times Union. “I tried to give [Brown] the benefit of the doubt. I tried to work with him. I was trying to be the peacemaker, the mediator to make sure things ran smoothly and just under the radar. But I can no longer do that.”
“It’s a very unfortunate situation that we’re being put in,” Leggett said. “We just want to put it behind us. Just pay what the guys are owed and we’ll just move on. No hard feelings. But you’re playing with people’s livelihoods.”
Times Union would further report that team accountant Alex Gunaris informed them that missing equipment was the reason for paychecks being withheld.
“We are reviewing and gathering information on stolen property and equipment not being returned to us after the last game,” Gunaris told the outlet in an email. “Football gear and other items were missing after we were removed from the league. Football helmets, shoulder pads, jerseys, equipment, etc. are on this list. Once we get a list of players who returned equipment we will reissue payments.”
It was just earlier this month when the National Arena League announced that it had come to the decision to officially terminate the membership agreement of Brown’s team, the Albany Empire, due to “failure to pay their league-mandated and overdue assessments.”
Brown allegedly owes the league $21,000.
There is no way of knowing if Brown will actually play to get his team back in the league. This is a hard downfall for a franchise that was coming off back-to-back championships before Brown got there.
Brown played 12 seasons in the NFL, earning four All-Pro nods and seven trips to the Pro Bowl.
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