Say it ain’t so, Antonio.
Two members of the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers—including extremely talented but often troubled Antonio Brown—were suspended three games for breaking the NFL’s COVID-19 rules.
The league and the NFL Players Association say that Brown, backup defensive back Mike Edwards and John Franklin III, who’s currently a free agent, all misrepresented their vaccination statuses, according to ESPN. The suspension comes only two weeks since the Tampa Bay Times reported accusations by Brown’s former personal chef that the football star had used the chef and a girlfriend to help acquire a phony vax card over the summer.
From the Tampa Bay Times
Brown’s girlfriend, model Cydney Moreau, told Los Angeles chef Steven Ruiz in a text message July 2 that Brown was willing to pay $500 if he could get a Johnson & Johnson vaccination card.
“Can you get the COVID cards?” Moreau texted Ruiz on July 2, according to a screen grab he provided to the Tampa Bay Times.
“I can try,” Ruiz responded.
“JNJ shot. Ab said he would give you $500,” Moreau texted.
It really be your own people—or at least people you might owe money to. Ruiz told the Times last month that he came to them with the story because Brown—who’s racked up a reported $87.3 million in football earnings since being drafted in 2010—refused to pay $10,000 that Brown owed. It’s not the first time he’s been accused of ghosting a debt—see here and here—and that’s not counting the sexual assault and other accusations that kept him out of football for most of the 2019 and 2020 seasons.
And here we were hoping that the rest of the league learned their lesson from Aaron “I’m fully immunized” Rodgers. Speaking of which, why is it that Rodgers, who tested positive for Covid before being fined for also misrepresenting his vaccination status, was only fined $14,650 while Brown, et al, have to miss three games?
Brown got his first and only Super Bowl ring when the NFL reinstated him and the Bucs signed him late last season. But he’s only played in five games this season because of an injury and was already supposed to be out for the next two weeks. It’s unclear if he’ll have to serve his suspension after he’s healed.
In the meantime, Brown spent Thursday getting dragged by ESPN’s hot take artists.