When Antonio Brown wanted out of Pittsburgh, I had no problem with that. I just thought he needed a fresh start so he could play football without any friction.
The Steelers responded to his trade request by shipping him to Oakland, another team with an established quarterback and coach. To begin his career with the Raiders, Brown intermittently showed up to the start of training camp because of concerns about the safety of his new NFL-certified helmet, agent Drew Rosenhaus said on ESPN’s Get Up! on Aug. 19.
Though things are fine at the moment, the peace may be temporary. considering the team has been on HBO’s “Hard Knocks.”
Whether this helmet rigmarole continues or halts, it’s time to question Brown.
He is trying to go against the requirements of his employer, the NFL. Some of us have to go to work with tuxedos or shirts given to us by our employer, regardless of if we’re comfortable. Part of his uniform is the helmet the league gives him.
At this point, he’s acting out for attention, and he’s succeeding. He’s the center of attention on ESPN and fans are searching social media to see what he’s up to. He’s egging this on.
That’s tough for me to understand. He’s the best receiver in the game and already constantly has eyes on him. He’s with a new team coming off of the disastrous situation in Pittsburgh. He has an entire fan base — or more — rooting for him.
So we must ask if Brown is a player we’d want on our team and a person we’d want in our locker room. As talented as he is, he’s obviously a negative presence, and this is what Raiders and possibly other teams have to start doing.
The problem is Brown only sees his side.
In Pittsburgh, he felt his quarterback was being valued more than than he was. He doesn’t see his frustration caused him to be more selfish. He doesn’t see the dysfunction he caused when he tossed the Gatorade bucket after Ben Roethlisberger failed to recognize he was open on a pass against Baltimore in 2017. He doesn’t see his immaturity and how it led to some of the issues, bearing in mind Roethlisberger did call him out publicly last December.
If he keeps up these selfish antics, he could turn into the NFL’s version of Carmelo Anthony. Nobody will want him. He’s a distraction, and at 31, he’s not getting younger. But most of all, he’s not willing to do whatever it takes to win.