Tampa Bay Buccaneers Antonio Brown ended his career with the team in a spectacular fashion during Sunday’s game against the New York Jets.
Brown shocked MetLife Stadium when he stripped off his jersey and pads on the sidelines during the third quarter. Teammates O.J. Howard and Mike Evans tried to reason with him, but he brushed them off and continued down the field.
Brown shucked off his undershirt and gloves, which he threw into the stands, then shuffled through the endzone shirtless while both teams were on the field. He tried to pump up the crowd on his way out and ran into the tunnel while pointing one finger in the air.
— Miller (@mmmmillah) January 2, 2022
“Never seen anything like that in all my years,” commented head coach Bruce Arians, adding that he tried to get the player to go into the game twice, before telling Brown to get out when he refused the request both times.
“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,” he told reporters at a post-game press conference. “I’m not talking about him. He’s no longer part of the Bucs.”
The wide receiver reportedly tried to get a ride to the airport from state troopers, but they denied the shirtless player’s request. He returned to the locker room, got dressed, and found transportation away from the stadium.
Team quarterback Tom Brady urged “compassion” for Brown through what he described as a “difficult situation.”
“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,” Brady said. “I think everyone should be very compassionate and empathetic toward some very difficult things that are happening.”