Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown has had quite a few weeks. Those few weeks I am referring to included him venting quite extensively on his social media accounts while also deciding not to participate in most of this year’s OTA practices. On Tuesday, Brown was back in the Steelers locker room for the start of the team’s mandatory minicamp and he reportedly held court with the media and vented displeasure with them and how he’s been treated as of late.
Antonio Brown spoke to the media before our first minicamp practice. pic.twitter.com/mfgq73w1cy
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) June 12, 2018
In summation, Brown voiced his frustration with the media on Tuesday and let it be known that he doesn’t like how they put pressure on him. He went on to also claim that he missed most of the team’s OTA practices to spend time with his family and that his absences had nothing to do with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger also deciding to miss several sessions this year. He also added that he doesn’t feel free to speak his mind at this point in fear of his words being twisted around and used against him.
“I needed a little personal time with myself to get my mind right. The game requires a lot of mental happiness. The older you get the more you start thinking about what’s important,” Brown reportedly said during Tuesdays media scrum, according to Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about missing most of this year’s OTA practices.
Brown, of course, had a lot more to say than just the above during his Tuesday session with the media.
“I took a moment to get my mind right [during OTAs]. It’s not even serious. It’s not even mandatory. It’s volunteer. You guys create a story about how I don’t want to throw with rookie QBs. It’s all about you guys making people a marked man when it’s not even like that,” the wide receiver reportedly said.
At one point during his Tuesday media session Brown referenced how his day-one OTA comments about running back Le’Veon Bell being absent were essentially taken out of context by the media.
“You guys write about it and say ‘Oh, AB says to show up.’ I just say the first rule of getting better is show up. I didn’t say he got to show up. He’s got his own business,” Brown said on that topic, according to Will Graves of the Associated Press.
We’ll pass along more Tuesday quotes from Brown as they surface. In the meantime, however, none of this should be new to Brown as he’s been dealing with the media long enough to have a good sense of how the machine works. The fact that Brown is the best at what he does and is paid as such makes him a high-profile person and thus everything he says and does will be put underneath a microscope and closely examined.
By the sound of things, Brown has done a lot a reflecting as of late when it comes to not only his own family, but his football career as well. It’s probably good that he’s getting all of what is bothering him right now off his chest in the middle of June. Regardless, what he said on Tuesday will more than likely result in even more stories about him and thus he’s sure to be bothered even more in the coming days by how what he said was interpreted.
“I can’t go nowhere and work out by myself. Fans come meet me at the field. I can’t do nothing normal. You guys write about me every day. My mom and kids see it, so we have to deal with these type of things. I started to think to myself, am I really free,” Brown said Tuesday, according to Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.