Antonio Brown can’t seem to keep his name out of the news, and usually for all the wrong reasons.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver was back in the headlines on Thursday when it was reported that he tried to acquire a fake vaccine card in order to avoid NFL protocols. The story, broken by the Tampa Bay Times, involves Brown’s girlfriend texting chef Steven Ruiz back in July to say that Brown was willing to pay $500 for a fake Johnson & Johnson vaccination card.
Brown’s lawyer told the Times that the receiver is, in fact, vaccinated. Given his history of poor decision-making and off-field issues, it’s hard to know where the truth lies. Meanwhile, the Buccaneers released a statement that essentially says that they did their best to confirm that all their players are vaccinated and they didn’t see any issues.
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) November 18, 2021
“After an extensive educational process conducted throughout our organization this past offseason highlighting the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccines, we received completed vaccination cards from all Tampa Bay Buccaneers players and submitted the required information to the NFL through the established process in accordance with the league policy,” the team said. “All vaccination cards were reviewed by Buccaneers personnel and no irregularities were observed.”
Later on in the day, the NFL made an official statement as well. According to Ian Rapoport, NFL PR person Brian McCarthy shared that “We are aware of the report and have been in contact with the club. We will review the matter.”
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 18, 2021
As we’ve seen with the Aaron Rodger saga, it’s possible that the league will bring some fines down on Brown and the Bucs if it’s proven that he wasn’t actually vaccinated when he made media appearances maskless. But beyond that, it’s unlikely there will be too much in the form of suspensions or further problems for Brown.
Brown is listed as questionable for Monday’s game against the New York Giants due to a nagging injury. However, even if he’s ready to play, this might create some kind of extra reason why he could miss that game as well. We’ll see what the league does, if anything.