Antonio Brown issued an apology Tuesday night for the video he streamed through Facebook following his Steelers’ 18-16 playoff win Sunday over the Chiefs. The star wide receiver captured comments made by Pittsburgh Coach Mike Tomlin and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, including Tomlin referring to the Patriots, his team’s next opponent, by a well-known expletive.
“First, I’d like to take this opportunity to say that I’m sorry for my actions and behavior after Sunday’s game. I let my emotions and genuine excitement get the best of me, and I wanted to share that moment with our fans,” Brown said in a statement posted to his Twitter account. “It was wrong of me to do, against team and NFL policy, and I have apologized to Coach Tomlin and my teammates for my actions.
“I’m sorry to them for letting it become a distraction and something that they’ve had to answer questions about while we’re preparing for a big game on Sunday.”
Earlier on Tuesday, Tomlin had called Brown “foolish,” “selfish” and “inconsiderate” for posting the video, which was seen by hundreds of thousands of Facebook users before the wide receiver took it down. The 44-year-old coach also apologized for the language he used, calling it “regrettable.”
Referring to the fact that after the Patriots had defeated the Texans on Saturday, the Steeler’s game at Kansas City was moved to Sunday night because of weather concerns, Tomlin had told his team, “We just spotted these a——- a day and a half.” Brown’s video also caught Tomlin saying, “We’ll be ready for their a—-. But you ain’t got to tell them we’re coming.”
Brown, a five-time Pro Bowler who led the NFL in receptions in 2014 and 2015, was also chided by Roethlisberger. The locker room is “a sacred place where things are said and hugs and tears, and it’s kind of a special place. So a little disappointed with AB for that,” Roethlisberger said Tuesday on a Pittsburgh radio show. “Coach talks and then I talk, and you just don’t want everyone to know what’s going on in there with the family. And also, I wish AB would have been listening to Coach and myself instead of being on the other side of the locker room filming.”
Tomlin said the Steelers won’t suspend Brown, at least not while the team is in the playoffs, but will “punish” him “swiftly.” The NFL may also choose to punish Brown, possibly with a fine, given that he violated its social-media policy.
“The use of social media by coaches, players, and other club football operations personnel is prohibited on game day (including halftime) beginning 90 minutes before kickoff until after the post-game locker room is open to the media and players have first fulfilled their obligation to be available to the news media who are at the game,” the policy states. Brown was fined twice by the NFL this season for excessive end-zone celebrations.
Brown needs “to grow from this,” Tomlin said. “He works extremely hard, he’s extremely talented, and those things get minimized with incidents such as this. He’s a great player, respected largely in the locker room. But incidents such as this don’t help him in that regard.”