Antonio Brown Leaves Game Shirtless, Loses Job

Wide receiver is no longer part of Tampa Bay Buccaneers
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 3, 2022 12:01 AM CST
Antonio Brown Kicked Off Buccaneers After Bizarre Exit
A N.J. State Police trooper, background, watches as Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown (81) throws his gloves into the stands while his team's offense is on the field against the New York Jets Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J.   (Andrew Mills/NJ Advance Media via AP)

Antonio Brown was apparently frustrated and angry. So he walked away. From the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And possibly his NFL career. The mercurial wide receiver was kicked off the Buccaneers after a bizarre, shirtless exit from the field before Tom Brady coolly led the Bucs on a 93-yard drive in the final minutes for a 28-24 victory over the New York Jets on Sunday, the AP reports. Coach Bruce Arians said after the game Brown was off the team. “He is no longer a Buc,” Arians said. “All right? That's the end of the story. Let's talk about the guys who went out there and won the game.”

Brown's mid-game meltdown came late in the third quarter with Tampa Bay trailing 24-10. He appeared animated while talking to Mike Evans, who tried to calm his teammate. But Brown stripped off his pads, jersey, gloves, and T-shirt—tossing the gloves and T-shirt into the stands—and then walked bare-chested down the sideline and into the end zone. He then waved to fans as he jogged through the end zone and into the tunnel at MetLife Stadium. It appeared to be a show of frustration by Brown, who had three catches for 26 yards. “I'm not talking about it,” Arians said. “He's not part of the Bucs.”

Brown was suspended last month for three games for violating the league’s COVID-19 protocols. He also has a history of personal conduct issues and bizarre behavior. “It’s a difficult situation,” Brady said. “Everybody should do what they can to help him in ways that he really needs it. 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. ... I think everyone should be very compassionate and empathetic toward some very difficult things that are happening.”

(More Antonio Brown stories.)

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