Earlier this week, former Tampa Bay Bucs player Antonio Brown made new allegations against head coach Bruce Arians and other staff. Now, the NFL Players Association will now launch an investigation into the claims.
Antonio Brown released a statement through his attorney on Wednesday, Jan. 5, that detailed several ways the organization attempted to “cover-up” what happened and “spin the narrative” from Jan. 2. During that game, Brown removed his jersey and gear and walked off the field mid-game. He said that Arians ordered him to play even though he still suffered from a serious ankle injury.
Earlier today, NFL Players Association spokesperson George Atallah spoke with USA TODAY Sports. He told the outlet that Brown hasn’t yet contacted the players’ union about the situation. But due to Brown’s claims of medical mismanagement, the NFLPA plans to follow ordinary procedures and investigate his allegations.
Antonio Brown even referenced the NFLPA directly in his statement. He said that the Buccanneers staff injected him with a “powerful and sometimes dangerous painkiller that the NFLPA has warned against using.” He did not name the painkiller in the statement.
At this time, the NFLPA hasn’t said when the investigation will begin. The NFL itself has also been quiet about the situation.
What Else Did Antonio Brown Claim About the Tampa Bay Bucs in His Statement?
Aside from talking about the “dangerous painkiller,” Antonio Brown listed several other incidents with the Bucs staff in his statement.
After the game, Arians claimed he had no knowledge about Brown’s ankle injury. But earlier today, Brown released text messages that he supposedly exchanged with Arians about the injury. The texts are listed in the tweet below.
Brown also scheduled an “urgent MRI” on his ankle Monday morning, which showed “broken bone fragments stuck in my ankle, the ligament torn from the bone, and cartilage loss.” Antonio Brown then scheduled surgery with Hospital for Special Surgery before the Bucs “ordered” him to do so earlier this week.
On the day of the game versus the New York Jets, Brown claims that he played “until it was clear that I could not use my ankle to safely perform my playing responsibilities.” He took a seat on the sidelines, and when Arians asked what was wrong, Brown cited his ankle injury.
“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.”
In Antonio Brown’s eyes, he didn’t quit the Bucs. They fired him on the sideline for refusing to play, despite an extensive injury. That’s when Brown started posting receipts from his communications with Arians and the staff.