Antonio Brown's Last Fall From Grace
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown pulled off his jersey and left the field before the end of his team's 28-24 win over the New York Jets on Sunday, leading to his exit from the organization.
Head coach Bruce Arians said after the game that Brown was "no longer a Buc."
"Never seen anything like it in all my years," Arians was quoted as saying.
Brown's outlash included removing his jersey, his shoulder pads, his undershirt and his glove; giving the crowd a peace sign; and leaving MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Brown did not travel back with the team on their flight.
In a post-game news conference, Tampa Bay's quarterback Tom Brady urged compassion and empathy for Brown, suggesting that he may need "help" beyond football. "We all love him," he said. "We care about him deeply. You know, we want to see him be at his best, and, you know, unfortunately it won't be with our team."
Sunday's display was only the latest episode in Brown's tumultuous career. Brown's latest meltdown shows that you cannot mask battles with mental health without addressing those issues and using outlets like sports or entertainment to pacify those issues. You also can't "Save" People, You can Only "Love" them. People dealing with mental health issues have to put the work in and consistently apply those tools in order to heal. Football can be a moment away from those issues and until now those issues have only showed up off the field, until Sunday. Sunday was the "Tipping Point". Hopefully Antonio Brown can allow Sunday's action to propel him into putting all his efforts in getting the help he needs without an off-season or calling a "time-out" providing no half-time celebrations or two-minute drills. This is the time for Antonio Brown to show up for the Biggest game he will play. The Game of Life and lock into the Biggest opponent he'll face "Himself". This Game needs no "Pre-Game" or "Post-Game coverage but prayers and support because this Game doesn't have a 4th Quarter or end with confetti or champagne. This Game will Never End as long as Antonio Brown keeps his jersey on and Fights Mental Health with the same tenacity that he does on the field!