Antonio Brown is arguably the top receiver in football, however, he recently caught the ire of Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin for his behaviour off the field.
Brown, recovering from the 36-17 loss in the AFC championship game to the eventual Super Bowl winning Patriots, streamed the team locker room after defeating the Kansas City Chiefs 18-16 in the Divisional Round.
Brown acknowledges that he made a "dumb mistake", speaking to Bleacher Report, "The big thing I learned is that I have some growing up to do, and I'm going to do it, I'm going to rebuild the trust with my teammates and coaches. I promise you that."
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Foolish and Selfish
Tomlin was highly critical in his media statement regarding the incident, "It was foolish of him to do that. It was selfish for him to do that. And it was inconsiderate for him to do that." and he stoked the rumour mill in saying "I think that's often why you see great players move around from team to team. I definitely don't want that to be his story."
Brown has been saying all the right things since and this incident may well serve as a wake-up call. Brown has been penalized several times over the last few seasons for excessive celebrations and has been known to lobby for the ball to come his way during games.
Defended by Teammates
Brown is beloved by his teammates, many have defended him publicly and on social media, Center Maurkice Pouncey went on Instagram to state, "AB is a team player loved by all his teammates" and former Steeler Ryan Clark went on Sportscenter after the incident to defend Brown.
Most importantly, team president Art Rooney says Brown is a "good person" and he considers the antics minor. The acknowledgement from Brown and response thus far is what the Steelers would have been hoping for, but we and the Steelers will have to wait until September to see if Brown has indeed grown up.
Brown stated to Bleacher Report that he wants to be a "Steeler for life." Brown has only one year left on his contract but is a dominant player in his prime at only 28. This isn't a Terrell Owens or Chad Johnson type of situation where the player has lost the backing of his teammates and organization. Antonio Brown isn't going anywhere and may get his wish.
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