NFL wide receiver Antonio Brown is continuing to make amends following his recent arrest in Florida, offering an apology Thursday morning to former team the Pittsburgh Steelers, its leadership and the fan base.
Brown spoke on 93.7 The Fan early Thursday after receiving an invitation from the Pittsburgh-based radio show to offer an opportunity to “catch up” and explain “your side of things.”
The free agent started out by apologizing to his former teammates, adding that he is “forever grateful” for his time with the Steelers.
Antonio Brown #84 of the Pittsburgh Steelers reacts after making a catch in the second half against the New York Jets during the game in 2012 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
“I apologize to those guys for the distractions, for the unwanted attention I probably caused those guys, to their names, to the organization. Obviously, you want to clear out any baggage or any disrespect or unintended attention that was brought on to the organization. You know, these guys gave me an opportunity when I was 21 years old and I’m forever grateful for those guys,” he said.
Brown went on to specifically name owner Art Rooney, coach Mike Tomlin and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger; he had public falling outs with all three.
He said his time in Pittsburgh wasn’t “all bad” but that he decided to move on at the end of the 2018-2019 season after becoming frustrated.
“I think everyone respected me and my craft, and what I went about and what I did. I just think at the time what was important for me – winning the Super Bowl and the team and guys and what we wanted to do – I just think we had a lot of things that were important as individuals, but it wasn’t really important to do the big thing and win the Super Bowl.”
He continued: “At the point I was at, I just felt like guys on the team weren’t really in a place to go get what’s important.”
Brown also was asked about his arrest last month, when he was charged with battery, burglary of an unoccupied conveyance and criminal mischief after police responded to his Florida home over reports that he and his trainer attacked a moving-truck driver.
He admitted that he was put in a “crazy jacket” but that he just had an emotional reaction to being bored, arguing that he’s not an angry person.
NFL free agent Antonio Brown appears at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., via video link Jan. 24, 2020. (Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun Sentinel via AP, Pool)
“I didn’t really have anger, I just think I’m really bored. You know, football keep a lot of my focus and not being able to have that thing to take my energy out on, to put my focus toward, allowed me to be bored and be able to react to things that normally I wouldn’t react to, so for the most part I think that’s the case.”
Brown said that life outside of the NFL has been “different” for him, but that he’s trying to just “adapt and adjust.”
He said he’s not sure what his future holds as far as getting back on a team next season, but that he regularly speaks to players in the league as well as a therapist.
Brown’s apology comes less than a week after he told ESPN in an interview, “I think I owe the whole NFL an apology,” before adding that he “could have done a lot of things better.”
New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown carries his helmet during an NFL football practice in Foxborough, Mass. The Patriots released Brown on Sept. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)
Brown has not played in the league since September. He previously played for the Steelers before joining the Oakland Raiders in the off-season. Brown did not play any regular-season games for the Raiders and was released following a turbulent offseason.
He was then picked up by the New England Patriots but played only one game before he was released after 11 days in the wake of sexual assault allegations.