Antonio Brown’s latest social media meltdown isn’t sitting well with Stephen A. Smith.
Smith on several occasions this season advocated for a team — whether it be the New England Patriots or some other organization — to sign Brown, a seven-time Pro Bowl selection who’s currently a free agent as the NFL continues its investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct. But even Smith can’t help but feel differently after watching the video Brown posted to Instagram on Monday.
Brown, who was released in September after spending just 11 days with New England, live streamed a verbal altercation involving himself, police and Chelsie Kyriss (with whom he shares three children). The scene was extremely disturbing, to say the least, as Brown used very strong language — in front of the kids, mind you — while causing a huge scene outside his Florida residence.
Now, Smith finally has come around on the idea that Brown has “problems” — perhaps to the extent that we all should be concerned for the 31-year-old’s well being — and that NFL teams should steer clear of AB moving forward.
“I was wrong. I wouldn’t bring him on my NFL team. He’s got problems,” Smith said on Tuesday’s episode of “First Take” on ESPN. “And I want to let everybody know, you do understand, if you listened to that video — not just watched it — the police officers showed incredible restraint. He was calling them the ‘B’ word. He was calling them the ‘N’ word. He was yelling at them. They turned their backs. They walked away. All they did was take the young lady and the kids into the cop car, and they drove them off. They did not respond to him. They did not antagonize him. They did nothing. He was screaming at them and calling them all kinds of names.
“I want everyone out there to understand that the police officers at any given moment could have turned around and arrested him. You don’t get to talk to police officers like that. You don’t get to berate them and think that that’s not a crime. You can actually get arrested for that. They could have arrested him. They did no such thing. They all walked away, they got into their cop cars and they drove off. And he was screaming all kinds of obscenities at them. He seemed completely out of control.”
This represents the latest head-scratching move by Brown, who is no stranger to weird social media antics. The mercurial wideout’s NFL future already appeared to be in jeopardy, but it’s now even harder to envision him returning to the gridiron in 2020. Signing Brown would require a major leap of faith for any franchise given what has transpired in recent months.
“He’s all over the place. You can’t predict anything. You don’t know what you’re getting,” Smith said. “And the one thing you do know is that you can’t trust him because he’s so addicted to that camera phone and so addicted to being on social media. You never know what he’s going to say about you next. You’ve got to stay away. I’m sorry to say it. I really take no pleasure saying that.”
Brown spent his first nine seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, cementing himself as one of the NFL’s best wide receivers, before being traded to the Oakland Raiders last offseason. He never appeared in a game with the Raiders despite signing a lucrative contract and wound up in New England, where he played in one regular-season game before being released.
The four-time All-Pro has been a free agent ever since, but that hasn’t stopped him from making headlines — typically for questionable activity.