Antonio Brown left the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in perhaps the wildest way possible.
Down 24-10 in the third quarter, Brown proceeded to take his shoulder pads/jersey off, throw his shirt and equipment into the stands, walk onto the field and head to the tunnel… all while the game was going on.
Security apparently thought Brown was actually a streaking fan at first, before noticing it was the star wide receiver.
Needless to say, his future with the team… is no future.
“He is no longer a Buc,” Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said after the Buccaneers’ 28-24 victory over the New York Jets. “That’s the end of the story. Let’s talk about the guys that went out there and won the game.” When asked for more details on what led to Brown’s departure, Arians said, “I’m not talking about him. He’s no longer part of the Bucs.”
A source told ESPN that Brown was not benched. “He quit,” the source said. Brown did not fly home on the team charter, according to another source.
Arians later told Fox Sports after the game that he was trying to get Brown to go into the game, and Brown refused, twice, as Arians told him to “get out.” Arians added to Fox Sports regarding Brown’s taking off his equipment: “Never seen anything like that in all my years.”
It soon became one of the top trending topics of social media, as his departure became a viral video.
Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady called it a “difficult situation” with Brown. He was not notified of Brown’s dismissal until after the game.
“We all love him. We care about him deeply. We want to see him be at his best. Unfortunately it won’t be with our team,” Brady said, adding that he will continue his friendship with Brown, and would encourage those around him to help him at this time.
“I think everyone should be very compassionate and empathetic toward some very difficult things that are happening,” Brady said.
At this point, Brown’s football career is most likely over. And if it is, it’s time to focus on his mental well-being.