Remember this, from a couple of weeks ago? The new, improved, mature Antonio Brown. Humble. Contrite. Self-effacing. A reflective, thoughtful man who's seen the error of his ways and is determined to be the best version of himself going forward. Someone out to validate the faith his new employers have placed in him.
Yeah. About that ...
Source - Antonio Brown, the superstar wide receiver who recently returned to the NFL after a slew of off-the-field troubles, was accused last month of angrily destroying a surveillance camera at the gated community in Hollywood where he lives and throwing his bicycle at a security-guard shack, according to a police report obtained by the Herald.
Hollywood police determined there was probable cause to charge Brown with misdemeanor criminal mischief for the Oct. 15 incident, the report said. But the homeowners association president declined to press charges, according to the report, saying she feared Brown “may retaliate against her employees.”
The incident [was] less than two weeks after the fracas at the luxury Hollywood Oaks development. The Hollywood Police Department “exceptionally cleared” the case on Nov. 5, according to the report.
Sylvia Berman, the HOA president, downplayed the incident on Monday. “It’s not that we’re afraid of him,” Berman told the Herald. Instead, she said, the board thought the incident was too minor to press charges and Brown had agreed to replace the broken camera.
A spokesperson for Brown said Monday that she has been “assisting Mr. Brown for several months to resolve certain minor disputes with the housing authority ... and everyone is getting along just fine,” spokeswoman Alana Burstyn said, adding: “ I am not sure who is trying to promote this narrative.”
In a second statement sent Monday evening, Burstyn said: “Antonio regrets that he lost his cool that day and he has made amends with the HOA.
“However, he is rightly concerned that he is routinely targeted by some people for mistreatment and undue scrutiny because he is Antonio Brown. He wants to be a good neighbor, good citizen and a good teammate."
I guess there's two sides to every story. Usually one of those sides doesn't consist of "Here's the perfectly valid explanation of why I chucked a bike at a guard shack and wrecked your security camera," but maybe this is one of those rare times.
Here's the thing though. I get why Antonio Brown spokeswoman Alana Burstyn is saying "there's nothing to see here" thing. That's the job of being Antonio Brown's spokeswoman. And it is a full time occupation. But what's with this HOA president? How does Sylvia Berman go from Brown "may retatiate against her employees" to "undue scrutiny because he is Antonio Brown" and he wants to be "a good teammate" in a matter of days?
That's her job? Talking about how hard it is to be AB and speaking for him about his interpersonal dynamics inside the Buccaneers locker room? The fuck is that? If I get into a beef with my neighbor that results in my slamming my 15-speed off the side of his garage and slapping the Ring camera off his door, I don't expect him to say, "Jerry has it tough and he's just trying to be a good neighbor, good citizen and write really good blogs that get a lot of pageviews."
I'm happy to say I've never been under the authority of a Homeowner's Association, but from everything I've heard they are brutal tyrants. A local Gestapo who'll kick your door in in the middle of the night and drag you away for having an unapproved mailbox or hanging Old Glory outside your door. Here she's got workers who she fears for one day, and the next she's issuing press releases for Brown like she's on his payroll. Which I'm going to assume she is, in some way, shape or form.
And speaking of public statements, the Bucs find themselves in the very familiar position of Brown's past employers, issuing press releases to explain why he just acted like a petulant child.
And there you go. He's on his fourth team. He's been with them for two games. And already they have to reset that sign to read, "THIS WORKPLACE HAS NOT SEEN AN INCIDENT INVOLVING ANTONIO BROWN IN [ 0 ] DAYS."
Even if you want to downplay this thing by saying it was minor damage and he's paying for it and he admits "he lost his cool" and all that, fine. But do so knowing that this happened while he was still trying to get Tampa to sign him. When he was supposed to be on his best behavior. When he should've been acting like a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir so he could get his career back, he was tossing bikes and committing vandalism and making an HOA lady fear for her employees. Imagine what he'll be like once he goes off for 10 catches for 100 yards and he gets the sense Tom Brady will go to the mattresses to keep him no matter what he does.
Better yet, just acknowledge that he's a grownass 32-year-old man who should've outgrown hysterical, bike-tossing conniptions half a lifetime ago. When this signing blows up in Bruce Arians' face - and it will, sooner or later - I'm going to be sitting by with a bowl of popcorn and a bottle of the good bourbon watching it all burn.