Antonio Brown Says He 'Relented to Pressure' from Coach to Play Injured Leading to Mid-Game Outburst

Antonio Brown shared a lengthy statement on Wednesday, addressing his outburst in the middle of a Buccaneers offensive drive during their Sunday game against the New York Jets

Antonio Brown
Antonio Brown. Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty

Antonio Brown is speaking out after Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said the wide receiver is "no longer" a member of the team.

The football player shared a lengthy statement on Wednesday via his attorney Sean Burstyn, addressing his outburst in the middle of a Buccaneers offensive drive during their Sunday game against the New York Jets.

"Because of my commitment to the game, I relented to pressure directly from my coach to play injured. Despite the pain, I suited up, the staff injected me with what I know now was a powerful and sometimes dangerous painkiller that the NFLPA has warned against using, and I gave it my all for my team," Brown said in part in the statement obtained by PEOPLE

He added, "I played until I could not use my ankle to safely perform my playing responsibilities."

Despite his "extreme" pain, Brown said Arians "ordered" him to get on the field. When he refused due to his injury, the coach told him he was "done with the Bucs," according to the player.

Antonio Brown #81 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks on against the New York Jets during the game at MetLife Stadium on January 02, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

A spokesperson for the Buccaneers did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

After a press conference for Sunday's game, Arians explained to FOX Sports insider Jay Glazer that he told Brown to "get out" before the athlete tore off his jersey and padding and threw them into the stands.

According to ESPN, Arians said he and the coaching staff had no knowledge of Brown's injury — which the player disputes in his statement.

"I didn't quit. I was cut. I didn't walk away from my brothers. I was thrown out. Being fired on the sideline for having a painful injury was bad enough," the statement read. "Then came their 'spin.' Coach denied on national television that he knew about my ankle. That's 100% inaccurate."

Brown added that he is "reflecting" on his actions on the field Sunday, but maintains that his "trigger" was being told he was "not allowed to feel pain."

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Following Sunday's game, Bucs quarterback Tom Brady, who helped bring Brown to Tampa Bay in 2020, weighed in on the incident. "That's obviously a difficult situation," Brady, 44, told reporters, adding that he hopes Brown will ultimately find the help that he needs.

Antonio Brown
Joe Sargent/Getty

Back in February, Brady opened up about his relationship with Brown, who is notorious for getting in trouble with NFL teams and the league. (In December 2021, the NFL suspended Brown for three games for allegedly misrepresenting his COVID-19 vaccination status.)

"Antonio and I connected right away," Brady said prior to Super Bowl LV about his first time meeting the receiver, per He noted that Brown had "a great love for the game" and had "made incredible strides" in the 12 months leading up to the title game.

At the time, Brown also addressed his relationship with Brady. "A lot of his help has helped me get to where I am at right now," Brown told reporters. "Helped me grow as a person — physically, mentally, emotionally — and put some things into perspective. Sharpening my tools, making sure I have plans [to reach] my goals and not letting any outside noise diffuse that plan."

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