Sunday was supposed to be a day about remembering John Madden, but one incident from Antonio Brown turn ed the day all about him and his actions during a game.
The story behind Antonio Brown’s bizarre exit from Sunday’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers game keeps getting weirder. However, not much was known on what happened just before that incident on the sidelines that saw him strip away his uniform.
Footage has since surfaced showing Brown’s final interaction with Tom Brady, and everything seemed quite normal.
The wide receiver made a grand departure during the second half of the Bucs’ road win against the New York Jets, dramatically stripping off his gear and throwing his undershirt into the crowd before waving, jumping around in the end zone, and then making his way to the locker room to get his things.
Head coach Bruce Arians said after the game that Brown’s time with the Buccaneers was over.
Tom Brady was one of the few to offer love and empathy towards the wide receiver. Telling reporters after the game, “I think everyone should… do what they can to help him in ways that he really needs it.”
“We all love him,” Brady continued. “We care about him deeply.”
Arians reportedly told Jay Glazer that Brown had refused to return to the game in the second half when he was told to. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport later added Brown felt he was too injured to return to the game at that point.
He had just missed several weeks with an ankle injury.
“What he told the staff, from what I understand, is that he was not going into the game because, in his mind, he did not feel he was healthy,” Rapoport said. “The response then from the offensive coaches and from Bruce Arians was, ‘If you are not gonna go into the game when we tell you to go into the game, then you cannot be here.’ At that point, they threw him off the sidelines and then cut him from the team.”
Arians said he hasn’t heard from Brown or his agent since he walked off the field on Sunday.