Antonio Brown Claims Bucs Offered Him Money for Mental Health Treatment, Considers Defamation Lawsuit

by Chris Haney
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By now, most NFL fans have likely witnessed wide receiver Antonio Brown‘s epic meltdown from earlier this month. In the 3rd quarter of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers versus New York Jets game, cameras captured Brown walking off the field shirtless after an argument with head coach Bruce Arians. Following the game, Arians announced that Brown was no longer a part of the Bucs organization. Further comments by the head coach and others within the franchise pointed towards the wide receiver having mental health issues. Now, in a new interview, the wide receiver shared that he may sue his former head coach for defamation.

Antonio Brown is making an appearance on HBO’s Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel. The episode will air later tonight (Tuesday, Jan. 25) at 10 pm ET. Brown sits down to speak with Gumbel alongside the wide receiver’s lawyer Sean Burstyn. His attorney has already released statements that dispute the Bucs’ version of the turmoil that has surrounded Brown.

In a preview clip from the upcoming HBO interview, Brown shared further details about the incident. During one segment, Brown opens up about Tampa’s reaction to his exit from the team. He claims the Bucs offered him $200,000 “to go to the crazy house” and deal with mental issues he says he does not have.

“Yeah, these guys at Tampa Bay Bucs tried to make an agreement with me to give me $200,000 to go to the crazy house so these guys could look like they know what they’re talking about. These guys are unprofessional, they treated me wrong,” Antonio Brown says to Bryant Gumbel.

“They offered you $200,000 for what?” Gumbel asked.

“The offer was Antonio would basically sit on the sidelines,” Brown’s lawyer said. “Go on some list– and commit himself to some form of intensive mental health treatment. And we were specifically told, in writing, by the general manager twice, ‘Don’t spin this any other way.'”

Antonio Brown Says His Former Team Bringing Up Mental Health Is ‘Unfair and Unfortunate’

As the conversation continued, Bryant Gumbel pressed Antonio Brown about his possible mental health issues. The seven-time Pro Bowler said he has “mental wealth,” not any mental health problems. Although he did admit that he’s misunderstood by many.

HBO has also provided further quotes from the full Bryant Gumbel interview. In a different portion of their talk, Brown calls his former head coach’s comments a “flat-out lie.” In fact, his attorney adds that they have clear evidence that refutes Arians’ comments about Brown. That’s when lawyer Sean Burstyn brought up a possible lawsuit.

“Are you suggesting that a defamation lawsuit is– is possible?” Gumbel asked.

“Defamation comes to mind,” Burstyn responded to the HBO host.

“Your figures, give me a number,” Gumbel added.

“A whole lotta money. A whole lot. It’s– it’s totally disrespect, man,” Antonio Brown explained. “You know, it’s– mental health is an important key in the world. So to drag people along and play on people’s mental health, you know, it’s– it’s unfair and unfortunate.”

There is no guarantee that Brown and his lawyer will file a defamation lawsuit. However, it does sound like it’s something the pair are contemplating. One thing we do know, the Antonio Brown and Tampa Bay Bucs saga is far from over.

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