by Anirudh Kannan ‘25
Published Feb. 10th, 2022
The Antonio Brown saga has come to a head following his sudden departure from the field during a game against the Jets. Or has it?
Once regarded as one of the greatest wide receivers to ever play the game, Antonio Brown’s legacy was nothing but consistent success for much of his career. Racking up over 1800 yards in 2015, Brown electrified the league with impressive route running and great hands, helping to lead the Pittsburgh Steelers to a 10-6 record and playoff berth.
Things have changed drastically for the once-praised receiver, as Brown has been involved in multiple fiascos and fallouts since 2018, changing the perception of AB around the league. Some speculate that these incidents arose due to CTE.
In a playoff game against the Cincinnati Bengals in January of 2016, Brown suffered a tremendous hit to the head from Vontaze Burfict, a linebacker who is known for making dirty plays. Because of this particular play, many believe that Brown is currently suffering from CTE, a medical condition in which one’s cognitive thinking is damaged due to head trauma. While Brown claims to have no mental health issues, this theory would certainly explain some of his unruly behavior.
Brown found himself in the headlines after a Week 17 win over the Jets, in which Brown ripped off his jersey and left the stadium in the middle of a Buccaneers drive. Brown claimed that he left because the coaching staff wanted to force him to get in the game when he supposedly hurt with an ankle injury, leading many to question Tampa Bay’s coaching and training staff. No player should have to play hurt, but it is alarming that Brown apparently had an outburst during the game where he was basically begging for more targets.
All in all, Brown’s spectacular career as a receiver has been overshadowed by his off-the-field issues. For example, he referred to potential Hall of Fame quarterback Ben Roethlisberger as a “ loser” on Twitter, made a big deal about what helmet he was going to wear while on the Raiders, spoke out against Patriots owner Robert Kraft, was proven guilty for burglary, and was caught using a fake vaccination card, all within the last few years. Whether this marks the end for AB or not, his legacy will forever be tarnished by his repeated offenses, as he reportedly looks to take his talents to Baltimore.