For some reason, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown felt compelled to apologize once again for posting a Facebook Live video where head coach Mike Tomlin called the New England Patriots “assholes.”
On Wednesday, Brown expanded upon his original apology and expressed regret about what happened.
Expansive comments from Antonio Brown. pic.twitter.com/TI3y8vDCHM
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) January 18, 2017
Okay, Antonio Brown broke an NFL rule regarding social media and caused a distraction, but let’s put this in perspective. I have seen football players busted for DUI or domestic violence get vilified less than Antonio Brown has this week. Hell, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones called Greg Hardy a “leader” even though Hardy was found guilty of beating his girlfriend the year before.
Everyone needs to pump the brakes on the Antonio Brown FB Live video because it really isn’t that big of a deal. Yeah, there was no reason to stream the video but is it really that big of a deal?
For one thing, it’s only a distraction because the media made it a distraction. Just like the New York Giants and the boat trip, Brown should have known better and should have known that the media was going to be a distraction. But Brown’s video was 18 minutes in the locker room while the Giants’ trip was on their off day in Miami so there’s a slight difference.
Another, the New England Patriots could care less about this video. Sure, it’s tough to read Bill Belichick during a press conference but why would the Patriots care about this video? If they did, all that would do is distract them from their work in studying the Steelers for Sunday and would actually help the Steelers.
Also, while we’re on the subject, let’s finally retire the concept of “bulletin board material” once and for all. The FB Live video isn’t going to give Tom Brady and the Patriots extra motivation to beat the Steelers. Going to the Super Bowl is motivation to beat the Steelers on Sunday just like how that’s motivation for the Steelers to beat the Patriots.
“Bulletin board material” is a prop used by the media and fans to get through the middle of the week before a game and then use that as an excuse the next day if that team loses. If you really think the Patriots really need an 18-minute video to get motivated to win an AFC Championship game, you’re being very disrespectful toward a team who has won four Super Bowls and has gone to the AFC Championship game 11 times in the past 16 years.
And, let’s be honest, Mike Tomlin called the Patriots “assholes.” Yeah, it’s probably not something he wanted revealed publicly, but is anyone really shocked Tomlin thinks that? I would bet anything I have that Belichick thinks the Steelers are assholes.
These are two teams who have been at the top of their game for the past 16 years and have gone to the Super Bowl in 10 of those 16 years, along with either one of both of those teams being in the AFC Championship game in all but two of those years. It’s a rivalry and rivals aren’t supposed to like each other. They can respect each other but yeah, it’s not shocking to think that your rivals are assholes. In fact, I’m sure Steelers and Patriots fans would want to see their players think like that toward their opponents.
Finally, this story has become the perfect reason why athletes and coaches don’t reveal anything publicly. Do you really think Bill Belichick is a boring, miserable person 24/7? No, of course not. Privately, Belichick is a lot more entertaining and fun to be around but we don’t see anything like that because it can be used against him and be turned into a big deal by fans and the media. And then fans and the media get upset when players and coaches are boring and give stock answers to questions. It’s a “chicken and egg” thing.
Maybe if we didn’t make a big deal about something as trivial as a Facebook Live video, more people would be more willing to knowingly take jabs at their opponents. So, let’s dial things back, move on from the FB video and in the tone of Bill Belichick, “focus on Sunday’s game.”