Antonio Brown is “no longer” a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after a mid-game outburst, according to head coach Bruce Arians.
The announcement came after the wide receiver, 33, made a scene in the middle of the Buccaneers’ Week 17 win over the New York Jets on Sunday.
During the third quarter, Brown was seen tearing off the top half of his uniform, before sprinting onto the field in the middle of the game and flashing a “peace out” sign to the crowd as he exited through the tunnel.
After suddenly leaving Sunday’s game, Brown shared a photo on social media of himself taken earlier in the day with the caption, “Super Gremlin.”
Arians, 69, did not further address Brown and his actions on the field during his postgame press conference.
“That’s the end of the story,” he told reporters. “I just want to talk about the guys that went out there and won the game.”
After the press conference, Arians told FOX Sports insider Jay Glazer that he requested Brown enter the game, but the wide receiver refused. The coach then allegedly told Brown to “get out” before the athlete tore off his jersey and padding and threw them into the stands.
When asked if he saw Brown rip off his uniform, Arians said, “Yeah, I did,” adding, “Never seen anything like it in all my years.”
In an interview with FOX Sports after the game, tight end Rob Gronkowskidenied knowing details about the incident.
“I don’t know anything about that,” he said. “I was out there smashing my head verse 300-pound defenders, catch passes, break tackles, so I had no time to see what happened on the sidelines.”
Meanwhile, Bucs quarterback Tom Brady, who helped bring Brown to Tampa Bay in 2020, weighed in on the mid-game meltdown following the game.
“That’s obviously a difficult situation,” Brady, 44, told reporters, adding that he hopes Brown will ultimately find the help that he needs.
“We all love him. We care about him deeply,” he continued. “We want to see him being at his best, and unfortunately, it won’t be with our team.”
Brady concluded his thoughts about Brown by noting, “I think everyone should be compassionate and empathetic toward some very difficult things that are happening.”
Back in February, Brady opened up about his relationship with Brown, who is notorious for getting in trouble with NFL teams and the league. (In December 2021, the NFL suspended Brown for three games for allegedly misrepresenting his COVID-19 vaccination status.)
“Antonio and I connected right away,” Brady said prior to Super Bowl LV about his first time meeting the receiver, per WEEI.com. He noted that Brown had “a great love for the game” and had “made incredible strides” in the 12 months leading up to the title game.
At the time, Brown also addressed his relationship with Brady. “A lot of his help has helped me get to where I am at right now,” Brown told reporters. “Helped me grow as a person — physically, mentally, emotionally — and put some things into perspective. Sharpening my tools, making sure I have plans [to reach] my goals and not letting any outside noise diffuse that plan.”
Antonio is too grown to be acting like a child. We, too, hope he gets the help that he needs.