Antonio Brown is no longer a part of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, coach says
Wide receiver Antonio Brown apparently retired mid-game Sunday, according to Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians.
According to ESPN, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the New York Jets 28-24 Sunday, but midway through the game, a frustrated Brown was seen on the sideline taking off his jersey and walking away from the team.
He then ran across the end zone while both teams were on the field and waved to fans as he went to the locker room.
MetLife Stadium security said when the incident occurred, they initially mistook Brown for a fan who'd somehow gotten onto the field.
"We thought he was a jumper," one security officer told ESPN. The officer also said that as Brown went through the tunnel, he asked state troopers for a ride to the airport, but they told him, "No."
"He was shirtless and didn't have his wallet," the security officer said. After the incident, Brown reportedly changed in the locker room and was able to secure alternate transportation to the airport.
Once the game was over, Coach Arians told reporters, "He is no longer a Buc. That's the end of the story. Let's talk about the guys that went out there and won the game."
When asked for additional specifics related to Brown's departure, Arians said, "I'm not talking about him. He's no longer part of the Bucs."
Bucs quarterback Tom Brady contributed to the conversation, explaining that the incident was "obviously a difficult situation."
"We all love him and care about him deeply," Brady said, adding their friendship goes beyond simply being teammates. "I think everyone should be compassionate and empathetic toward some very difficult things that are happening."
Brady said he didn't know the details of the incident until after the game.
After the game, Brown tweeted a photo of himself with the caption "Super Gremlin."
Shortly after that, Brown tweeted a link to his new single, "Pit Not The Palace."
The incident occurred weeks after Brown said he was suspended in December for three games without pay after a league investigation concluded that he violated COVID-19 protocols.
The NFL confirmed in a news release that it discovered evidence Brown and two other players (Buccaneers safety Mike Edwards and free agent wide receiver John Franklin III) had "misrepresented their vaccination status."
Brown signed a one-year deal with the Buccaneers in October 2020.
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