While the contents of the match was notable, it was Antonio Brown‘s sudden exit from the game in the third quarter that stole the show. the Bucs’ star wideout was seen tearing off his pads and uniform before throwing his shirt and gloves into the stands. He then ran into the endzone, sending a peace sign out to fans as he went back to the locker room. Post-game, Bucs’ head coach Bruce Arians commented on the situation, “He is no longer a Buc. That’s the end of the story. Let’s talk about the guys that went out there and won the game.” When reporters wanted to hear of more details of Brown’s departure, Arians doubled-down and said, “I’m not talking about him. He’s no longer part of the Bucs.” Arians later told Fox Sports that he did in fact tell him to “get out,” after refusing to enter back in the game, “Never seen anything like it in all my years.”
Sources told ESPN that Brown has “quit” and did not fly home on the team plane. Teammates Mike Evans and O.J. Howard were seen trying to calm Brown before he took off his jersey and pads. Brady chimed in on the incident and called the it a “difficult situation.” He added,
“We all love him. We care about him deeply. We want to see him be at his best. Unfortunately, it won’t be with our team.
I think everyone should be very compassionate and empathetic toward some very difficult things that are happening.”
Running back Le’Veon Bell who recently joined the Bucs from the Pittsburgh Steelers echoed Brady’s words and said,
“I found out when we got into the locker room at the end of the game. I instantly sent him a text, to try to catch up with him real quick. Obviously he texted me back and I talked to him. He’s still one of my close friends. Like you won’t hear me talking bad about AB at all. Obviously, I understand, things happen, but he’s one of my closest friends I’ve been around, a close teammate, overall a good person. Some bad decision-making at times, but he’s human, not perfect, and we’ll continue to move on without him and keep moving forward.
It’s tough. Obviously, when I came over here, I was happy to be reunited with him. Unfortunately, it was only two games, but at the end of the day, I wish the best for him outside of football or whatever’s next for him.”