Antonio Brown has certainly given the world an abundance of soundbites this weekend as he makes his media rounds, taking shots at quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and Mike Tomlin in the process. That is why it is all the more surprising when Brown told ESPN’s Jeff Darlington that he does not want to make the Pittsburgh Steelers’ organization look bad.
When asked to expand on his thoughts about how he has handled his actions thus far, Brown went on to say that he initially held off on his interview out of respect for the organization.
“I know my fans want to hear from me. I sat back and watched everyone take all kinds of jabs, uppercuts at me and Mr. Big Chest stood in there. I didn’t complain, I didn’t point the finger, I didn’t seek comfort. I took responsibility. I let everyone say their peace, I didn’t say nothing. I let everything hit the fan and then I had a Q&A. I asked my fans, because I know everyone was like ‘When is AB going to sit down and do the interview? When is he going to do that?’ But it’s like man, I don’t want to make the organization that really took a chance on me when I was 21 look bad.”
Regardless, Brown went ahead with his Twitter Q&A interview.
There have been a lot of comments that Brown has made that could be classified as tone deaf or slightly hypocritical, this one fall could fall under both. The Steelers’ wide receiver has certainly done his fair share when it comes to trying to make the organization look bad over the last couple of months, even before his Twitter Q&A. There was the Instagram live with James Harrison during Tomlin’s season ending press conference, then there were the numerous Instagram lives where he already acted as if he were a free agent and there was the allegation that he initially refused to meet with Art Rooney. These events all led to the Twitter Q&A which Brown says not only put all the speculation to bed but also confirmed what he had been preaching about how the Steelers are run. Brown is of course alluding to GM Kevin Colbert‘s comments about Roethlisberger and his ’52 kids’.
“Obviously I know there’s some cultural issues, issues that was already at hand that I already knew but I couldn’t really say that because out of respect for the organization and for the members I work with. I didn’t want to put them in an uncomfortable position but I knew it was a perfect time for me to really ask my fans cause I know they was getting so much speculation. So, when I said what I said and (Colbert) said what he said it confirmed the whole truth of what I originally already had said”
For man a who claims had no intentions of making the Steelers organization, the only organization that took a chance on him almost a decade ago, Brown seemingly has tried to take down the empire piece by piece. The silver lining in all of this may be that there is some truth to his statements. For the majority of this ugly divorce, Brown has not made the Steelers’ organization look bad. Thanks in large part to his candid interviews and social media activity, the only individual that has come out of this situation looking bad is arguably Brown himself.
While Colbert makes his rounds at the NFL Combine trying to rebuild the star wide receiver’s value while also gauging the interest in him from other General Managers around the league, Brown has been a one man wrecking crew, intent on destroying his value.