I have to admit, I've pretty much exhausted the number of new and original ways to express how much Antonio Brown's time as a pro football owner is even crazier than I thought it would be. There are times when the thesaurus fails you, and you're left with no choice but to repeat yourself.
From his first day as owner of the Albany Empire:
To his last:
And every day in between. As the PA system at Gillette Stadium puts it, his tenure at the top of a National Arena League franchise was one nonstop, express journey of going off the rails on a crazy train. Firing multiple coaches in the span of a few months. One who won a championship last year and another who got the axe via phone on the team bus at the start of a 12-hour bus ride. Failing to meet payroll. Locking his players out of their hotel rooms. And those just a Trader Joe's sample counter portion of the circus AB took with him when he was kicked out of the NAL.
But again, this is Antonio Brown we're talking about. By now we should all realize with him, just because the nonsense is over doesn't mean it's over. He's a scorched earth human being. Like the Roman army salting the fields of any people they defeat, the residual effects of the damage done by Brown's ridiculousness remains long after you think you're rid of him.
The Albany Times Union - The head coach of the Albany Empire said members of the arena football team are planning a class-action lawsuit against owner Antonio Brown after all the players and coaches discovered the paychecks from their final game were pulled from their bank accounts. …
“I’m frustrated,” Empire head coach Moe Leggett said. “I’m frustrated. I tried to give (Brown) the benefit of the doubt. I tried to work with him. I was trying to be the peacemaker, the mediator to make sure things ran smoothly and just under the radar. But I can no longer do that.”
The news of the pulled paychecks was first reported by WTEN (Ch. 10).
Leggett said team members were paid last Thursday and Friday for the Orlando game. But a member of their group chat on Wednesday night posted a screenshot of the bank account reversal. When Leggett checked his account the next morning, his paycheck also had been deducted. …
Leggett says players are still owed amounts of $500 and up for their final game. …
“I feel like this was his plan all along,” [wide receiver Fabian] Guerra said. “I feel like he does stuff for social media and to sell his songs. I think it’s just what he does. That’s the type of guy he is. No one trusts him anymore. I see it hard for him to get any future deals going because of how he is as a person.”
Five hundred bucks. Brown swiped $500 from his players' bank accounts that he had a contractual obligation to pay. Like a guy in a Looney Tunes putting a slug with a string tied around it into a vending machine and then pulling it out, he paid them and then unpaid them. But not until after he got their services and pocketed the gate from an Empire game.
As a reminder, here is just the guaranteed money he got in his NFL career according to Spotrac:
- Steelers: $27,500,000
- Raiders: $30,125,000
- Patriots: $10,000,000
- Buccaneers: $3,100,000
- TOTAL: $70,725,000
Doing the math, that means he could afford to pay game checks to 141,450 Empire players without breaking into his other salaries, bonuses and endorsement money. But he'd rather renege on what they're owed and make them send a lawyer after him to get what they earned. And this isn't coming from some feudal lord who doesn't know or care what it's like to be one of the peasants. This is a former football player. With zero empathy for the lowest paid football players in the country.
The only way this makes sense is by agreeing with what Fabian Guerra says. That it's all intentional and Brown does it to sell his brand. He's a full blown comic book supervillain at this point, just trying to be evil for the sake of being evil. Some men aren't looking for anything logical, like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.
It's one thing when that lesson is learned by the billionaires who own NFL franchises. Then it's sort of cruelly funny. There's nothing at all entertaining about seeing guys who are just trying to keep their dream of playing football alive for another year or two have to fight for the scraps they get thrown. The way Brown's own father did in that very same arena.
Where I part company with Guerra is when he says it'll be hard now for AB to get any future deals. Because he's been pulling this shit in some form or another his entire adult life. And still people fall for it. But going forward, the way Coach Leggett's "I'm frustrated. I tried to give Brown the benefit of the doubt," should be written above the door of any board room Brown walks into. The way it reads, "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here" above the gates of Hell. You've been warned before. This lawsuit is just the latest in a long series.
P.S. I'm also running out of ways to point out Tom Brady let this buffoon live under his roof. Twice. So just remember I mentioned it.