Bucs' Antonio Brown banned for three games by NFL
The wide receiver falsified his vaccination status and is now paying for it.
The Bucs' wide receiver has been caught in a lie and was punished for it. The question that remains is should his penalty have been more severe?
Bucs' WR Antonio Brown is punished by the NFL
According to an NFL announcement on Thursday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' wide receiver Antonio Brown has been suspended for three games having violated the NFL-NFLPA covid-19 protocols. The league advised that their union along with that of the players found that Brown, along with two other Bucs' players falsified their vaccination statuses. Indeed it was Buccaneers backup safety Mike Edwards and free-agent wide receiver John Franklin III All who were all penalized. According to the NFL each of the players declined to appeal the decision, accepting their punishment. Where Brown and Edwards are concerned, their suspensions are without pay. They will both be available for the Bucs' December 26th clash with the Carolina Panthers.
What did Antonio Brown do?
The announcement follows a report made earlier this month, which detailed the account of a former personal chef of Brown. According to the chef, Brown paid him to obtain a fake covid-19 vaccination card over the summer. To that end the league also added in their statement, "The NFL-NFLPA jointly reinforce their commitment and further emphasize the importance of strict adherence to the protocols to protect the well-being of everyone associated with the NFL," the league and players' union said in a statement.
Interestingly, Brown's attorney, Sean Burstyn gave a statement in which he disclosed that Brown is vaccinated and "continues to support the vaccine for any person for whom it is appropriate." Burnstyn also added that, "The NFL made its determination and, instead of going through the drawn out and distracting process of challenging the outcome, Mr. Brown wrapped this up promptly and he will make this most of this time by treating his ankle injury," Burstyn said. "Mr. Brown will be motivated, well rested, and in the best shape of his life when he returns in week 16."
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Is Antonio Brown's punishment convenient?
As reported earlier in the week, Brown was set to miss at least 2 more games due to a 'more complicated' ankle and heel injury that has seen him sidelined since Week 7. As such some have questioned whether or not this is simply a slap on the wrist. It was Brown's former chef Steven Ruiz who alleged that Brown and his girlfriend, model Cydney Moreau, contacted him during the summer for the purpose of acquiring a fake vaccination card. Ruiz added that he was unable to do so, however, weeks later was shown by Brown two cards which the Bucs' player stated he had purchased from a teammate. Ruiz did not say who the teammate was. The allegation was strongly denied by Brown's attorney.
Bucs' position ironic?
"We appreciate the League's timely handling of this matter and recognize the importance of the health and safety protocols that have been established. We will continue to implement all league covid-19 protocols." Those were the words of the Buccaneers in a statement released on Thursday. It's worth noting, however, that during the 2020 season, the Bucs' promoted a theme of "beat the virus." To add further context to the scenario, head coach Bruce Arians stated in September that all players and staff had been administered the vaccine.