Antonio Brown Accuses Buccaneers Of Trying To Make Him Play Hurt

“I didn’t quit. I was cut. I didn’t walk away from my brothers.”

Pro Bowl wide receiver Antonio Brown made international news after he decided to walk off the field during the Tampa Bay Buccaneers-New York Jets game on Sunday. The former Bucc is now speaking out about the matter.

Football fans and broadcasters speculated on the reason why Antonio Brown chose to leave mid-game. The 33-year-old Super Bowl champion offered a lengthy statement about the situation.

Antonio Brown stated, in part:

Because of my commitment to the game, I relented pressure directly from my coach to play injured. Despite the pain, I suited up, the staff injected me with what I now know was a powerful and sometimes dangerous painkiller that the NFLPA has warned against using, and gave it all for the team. I played until it was clear that I could not use my ankle to safely perform my playing responsibilities. On top of that, the pain was extreme. I took a seat on the sideline and my coach came up to me, very upset, and shouted, “What’s wrong with you? What’s wrong with you?” I told him, “It’s my ankle.” But he knew that. It was well-documented and we had discussed it. He then ordered me to get on the field. I said, “Coach, I can’t.” He didn’t call for medical attention. Instead, he shouted at me, “YOU’RE DONE!” while he ran his finger across his throat. Coach was telling me that if I didn’t play hurt, then I was done with the Bucs. I didn’t quit. I was cut. I didn’t walk away from my brothers. I was thrown out. Being fired on the sideline for having a painful injury was bad enough. Then came their “spin.” Coach denied on national television that he knew about my ankle. That’s 100% inaccurate. Not only did he know I missed several games with the injury, he and I exchanged texts days before the game where he clearly acknowledged my injury. He obviously knew I was on the injury list. And the GM acknowledged after the game in text messages to my camp that I did tell coach about my ankle pain on Sunday.

via Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet)

Following his departure from the game on Sunday, Antonio Brown released a rap song titled “Pit Not the Palace.” The chorus includes AB saying, “I’m from the pit, not the palace. I’m kinda stylish. Lifestyle lavish. Jump in the coupe with no mileage. Run it, style it.”