Antonio Brown admits his wild exit from Jets game was ‘unnecessary and unprofessional

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Antonio Brown was, once again, half naked as he touched down in Los Angeles on Monday night following a week of partying in New York City and his bizarre, shirtless exit from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ January 2 game against the Jets.   

Brown has a history of disciplinary issues with several teams in recent years, but the Bucs drew the line by releasing him on Thursday after his meltdown at New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium. 

In the third quarter of that game, following an argument with head coach Bruce Arians and heated discussions with teammates, Brown, 33, bolted from the sidelines and removed his jersey before jogging off the field, possibly, for the last time as an NFL player. 

‘It probably wasn’t necessary or professional,’ Brown admitted to TMZ on Monday, having headed to Los Angeles to hang out with Kanye West

As teammates and coaches were left stunned by his latest on-field outburst, Brown chose to stay in the limelight by partying in New York City with rappers like Meek Mill and Fabolous over the last week. 

Antonio Brown was, once again, half naked as he touched down in Los Angeles on Monday night following a week of partying in New York City and his bizarre, shirtless exit from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' January 2 game against the Jets

Antonio Brown steps off a private plane in Los Angeles

Antonio Brown was, once again, half naked as he touched down in Los Angeles on Monday night following a week of partying in New York City and his bizarre, shirtless exit from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ January 2 game against the Jets

Brown had a chauffeured SUV waiting for him at the airport in Los Angeles after his arrival

Brown had a chauffeured SUV waiting for him at the airport in Los Angeles after his arrival 

Brown quickly put on a sweatshirt, jacket, and gold chain before stepping off the plane

Brown walks down the steps from a private jet

Brown quickly put on a sweatshirt, jacket, and gold chain before stepping off the plane 

Brown greeted a woman with a hug on the tarmac, but she has not been identified publicly

Brown greeted a woman with a hug on the tarmac, but she has not been identified publicly

Embattled NFL star Antonio Brown says he knew his decision to leave the field against the Jets was 'unnecessary and unprofessional'

Embattled NFL star Antonio Brown says he knew his decision to leave the field against the Jets was ‘unnecessary and unprofessional’

Brown has been let go by the Buccaneers after storming off during their game on January 2

Brown has been let go by the Buccaneers after storming off during their game on January 2

The 33-year-old was pictured partying with rapper Meek Mill in New York City amid the fallout

The 33-year-old was pictured partying with rapper Meek Mill in New York City amid the fallout

The fallout has been nasty since Brown’s release with the receiver accusing the Bucs and Arians of giving him a ‘powerful and sometimes dangerous painkiller’ ahead of Sunday’s win over the Jets. 

In a statement issued via his lawyer on Wednesday, Brown claimed that he was forced to play despite team officials knowing he had a serious ankle injury.

Brown said that at one point the pain from the injury became too extreme, forcing him to sit on the sidelines. He claims that then triggered a confrontation with Arians, which saw the coach make a throat cutting gesture while mouthing ‘You’re done.’

The exit from the field happened shortly afterwards, Brown claims. 

The divisive seven-time Pro bowler also questioned his friendship with quarterback Tom Brady during an interview with the Full Send Podcast.

Brown had claimed that he was forced to play despite having to nurse a bad ankle injury

Brown had claimed that he was forced to play despite having to nurse a bad ankle injury 

Through his attorney, Brown released a statement explaining his exit from the Jets game

Through his attorney, Brown released a statement explaining his exit from the Jets game

‘To me, a friend is someone who’s got your back,’ Brown said. ‘Not everybody in sports is going to be your friend.

‘Tom Brady’s my friend, why? Because I’m a good football player. He needs me to play football. People have different meanings of what friendship is.’ 

Brady had previously been credited with reviving Brown’s career at two clubs: first, in New England, where the embattled NFL star played a single game in 2019 before getting released amid sexual assault allegations; and then in Tampa, where the pair won a Super Bowl last season. 

Brown even lived with Brady in Tampa for a short time as they prepared for the 2020 season. 

Brown’s younger brother, former University of Pittsburgh running back Desmond Brown, called his older sibling ‘selfish’ for quitting on his teammates, and suggested that he may have been upset over a contract issue. The elder Brown was approaching three incentive targets, which could have netted him just shy of $1 million in bonuses.

‘… he wanted to get those incentives and realized it wasn’t going to happen,’ Desmond told the Daily Caller.

The Bucs had more regular season game remaining at the time of Brown’s outburst, and he needed 11 more catches as well as an additional 281 receiving yards and three touchdowns to earn $999,000 in bonuses.

Desmond also wondered if ‘something happened in the locker room’ at halftime to upset Brown.

Regardless, Desmond said his brother’s exit was ‘a real selfish move,’ adding that ‘there’s no honor in quitting.’  

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