Man…let me tell you. Every time I write about Antonio Brown, I preface it by saying that it’s going to be the last time I do so unless he does something else so ridiculous that it warrants being addressed. But the former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver continues to stick his nose where it no longer belongs, so I get out the newspaper and start rolling it for a good whack.
Everybody reading this knows exactly what’s going on. On Sunday, he said that JuJu Smith-Schuster fumbled the Steelers’ playoffs away while taking a shot at him on Twitter. Yesterday, he pettily reposted a private message that Smith-Schuster sent him while he was a teenager looking for advice. While Smith-Schuster had previously posted it himself, Brown did so mockingly, and to shot that the younger player had one been deferent to him and praised him. So that is the backdrop in front of which the latest rendition of The Antonio Brown Situation™ is playing out.
In light of his comments, Browns has been rightfully roasted across the spectrum, both from his peers and within the national media. And the reason that I’m opting to cover these comments from the national media today is…because it feels good. I’m not going to lie. There has been so much hostility toward the team about how they handled the situation that it’s important to process how the narrative is now turning, and that’s what I want to make sure we do here.
It’s gotten to the point at which even Shannon Sharpe is sounding wise. He levied some of the sharpest criticism against Brown on the day, even referencing a previous time he was on their show. He said that Brown was “full of caca”, and he knew it, but he let him say what he was going to say.
“It took you two years to know what I knew at a distance six years ago”, he said of Smith-Schuster, who seemingly suddenly woke up to the realization that Brown has sociopathic tendencies. Smith-Schuster was also on the show shortly after the season ended, and he knew the wide receiver was covering for Brown. “He knew AB was acting a fool” skipping meetings and other things.
Meanwhile, Sharpe couldn’t help but notice that Brown’s fixation is on the Steelers and not the Oakland Raiders. “Why are you continuously talking about what transpired in Pittsburgh? You are an Oakland Raider. They compensated you handsomely. And you take a shot at someone who, as he said, showed you love”, he said.
Then he went for the jugular. In a screed about how the Raiders better be prepared for the worst-case scenario, the Hall of Famer said, “I wouldn’t want to play with him”. I can’t think of a more damnatory thing one player could say about another than that.
“I don’t care if he gave me 160 catches and 1800 yards. The Steelers don’t realize this now, because they might take a downturn, but the best thing they’ve done is get that guy out of the locker room”, he said. Because, he suggested, other players will gravitate toward that, and it could destroy a locker room.