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Antonio Brown Strips, Tosses His Gear Into Crowd, Leaves Midgame [Update]

Image via Fox Sports

Possibly inspired by Kevin Porter Jr.’s halftime departure, Buccaneers receiver Antonio Brown took off his uniform, threw his shirt and gloves into the stands, and said goodbye to the crowd as he departed shirtless into the tunnel in the middle of his team’s game today against the Jets. The offense was on the field as he jogged through the end zone and flashed the peace sign to fans in the stands.

Ever see a guy say goodbye to his gloves? Yes, once.

Judging by this additional video from the stands, it seems something aggravated Brown and he didn’t want to play anymore. Fellow receiver Mike Evans and tight end O.J. Howard tried to convince Brown to stay and chill out, but after he couldn’t be persuaded, they gave up to focus on the game.

According to a sideline report from Jennifer Hale, the Jets stadium staff was originally ready to tackle Brown because they thought he was a fan on the field.

Just a couple of weeks ago, Bucs head coach Bruce Arians had defended his decision to keep Brown on the team after the receiver’s suspension for a phony vaccine card. When the team signed Brown in October 2020, months after Arians had insisted he was “just not a fit here,” the coach vowed that he would not stand for any more screwups. Then WR Chris Godwin suffered a season-ending injury, Evans hurt his hamstring, and receiver depth superseded any propped-up zero-tolerance policy. Well, the dilemma resolved itself, in a way.

Brown had three catches for 26 yards on five targets, so he was getting the ball to some extent. Presumably he is out for the rest of the game.

Update (4:15 p.m. ET): After the 28-24 win, Arians said that Brown is no longer on the team. Seems like he made that choice without you, Coach.

Update (7:12 p.m. ET): After waiting outside the stadium, Brown finally found a ride home.

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