A Fall from Grace

A Fall from Grace

Lucas Parent, Lion's Roar Staff


     Once again, Antonio Brown is in national headlines- and not for the right reason. Brown made news when he took off his jersey, pads, and undershirt, threw some of his equipment into the stands, and waved to the Jets fans as he ran across the field mid-play and into the tunnel. Brown, who was not seen again, was released by the Buccaneers immediately after the game, with coach Bruce Arians stating he would no longer be a part of the team.

     Brown, who is believed to have left in frustration, has had several incidents leading up to this one over the past. Brown was accused of assault of a woman in 2017, and an argument with longtime quarterback Ben Roethlisberger led to his benching in a crucial week 17 game with playoff hopes on the line. Brown, who missed practice for most of the prior week, expected to play, but Coach Mike Tomlin thought otherwise. The Steelers did win, a narrow 16-13 victory, but fans and players alike watched as the Ravens won over the Browns to knock them out of the playoffs. In the offseason, the Steelers traded Brown to the Raiders for draft picks, but his time in Oakland was short lived. Brown accidentally damaged his feet in a cryotherapy machine, and missed practices because of it. Brown was released by the Raiders not long after, and signed with the Patriots where he played for one week before being released again for inappropriate behavior.

     Brown enjoyed his moment of glory in the Super Bowl, as the former seven-time pro bowler captured his first NFL Championship with the Buccaneers last February. Brown caught a touchdown in the triumph. Most recently, Brown was suspended several weeks after he presented a fake vaccination card, but coach Bruce Arians let him remain on the team. A common theory among NFL fans is that head trauma has led to Brown’s behavioral downfall. Many point to a 2016 game, where he was hit by linebacker Vontaze Burfict and suffered a concussion.

     As all this goes on, Tom Brady asks for compassion for the former top receiver. “It’s a difficult situation”, Brady reasoned, adding, “Everybody should do what they can to help him in ways that he really needs it”. 

     Brady later added that he wanted compassion for Brown, as it is also a difficult situation for Brown as well. 

     As Brown’s behavioral issues escalate, and many point to the Burfict hit in 2016, theorists have pointed to CTE as a possibility. CTE, also known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, is a brain condition which is known to be caused due to concussions and blows to the head. 

     There is no known way to test CTE while a person is still alive. Former NFL tight end Aaron Hernandez was sentenced to life in prison without parole after he murdered Odin Lloyd in 2013. Hernandez died in prison, and upon death they ruled that Hernandez had CTE, which is likely what led to his behavior. 

     Fans now hold their breaths, hoping Brown does not suffer the same fate.