We’ve never known Antonio Brown to be a particularly introspective guy. You know, deep thinking really isn’t in his repertoire. He comes across as pretty spontaneous, usually crude and profane, decidedly self-absorbed and highly egotistical.
Or let’s put it this way: The dude is out of his freaking mind.
We’ve watched him lay waste to his career, being petulant with the Steelers, a cry baby about his helmet while with the Raiders and not being totally forthcoming about his past in his short time with the Patriots.
And we’ve observed as he’s slowly blown up his life through a series of personal mishaps and misadventures that have bordered on criminal and constantly illustrated his contempt for society in general.
Truth is, he’s a dope and frankly the more you see of him, the more convinced you are there is something seriously wrong with him. Who voluntarily lives his life that way?
Lately, we’ve been treated to a different kind of Brown, a more conciliatory, soft-spoken Brown and we can only assume its because he finally understands what his behavior has cost him in terms of cash and public perception.
Maybe he hit bottom when his agent and apologist, Drew Rosenhaus, finally dumped him last month. Even he couldn’t tolerate Brown anymore. Perhaps that’s what has caused Brown’s new approach. Maybe now he senses how isolated he’s become because of the way he’s been acting.
Anyway, Brown has been on something we like to call an apology tour. He has made a few stops over the last weeks to tell everyone how sorry he is for the way he’s treated them in the past.
On Thursday, Brown tried to make amends with the Steelers in an interview with 93.7 The Fan.
“I apologize to those guys for the distractions, the unwanted attention that I probably caused those guys,” Brown said when the hosts asked if wanted to say anything to Ben Roethlisberger, team owner Art Rooney II or coach Mike Tomlin. “To the organization. Obviously you want to clear out any baggage or any disrespect or unintended attention that was brought on to the organization.
“These guys gave me an opportunity when I was 21 years old. I’m forever grateful to those guys, to have the opportunity to not only play with those guys but to be in so many amazing moments. We’ve been through so much. I’m forever grateful and indebted to this organization.”
Last week, Brown took turns apologizing to the NFL in an interview with ESPN and to the Hollywood (Fla.) Police department which had arrested him on various charges as a result of Jan. 21 incident with a moving truck driver at his home.
Apparently, Brown only went so far with his radio interview. He didn’t specifically apologize for the conduct that led to his departure from Pittsburgh in 2018 or what he did in the wake of his release by the Patriots once word of alleged sexual misconduct got out.
Brown did say he’s spoken Roethlisberger, but denied it had anything to do with mending fences with the quarterback who helped turn him into one of the NFL’s greatest receivers.
“A lot of people are really nervous to tell him what he really is, based on the position he’s in,” Brown said. “We had a real heart-to-heart hash-it-out, but I just think too much stuff built up that it was too late.
“At the time, what was important for me – winning a Super Bowl. … I just think we had a lot of things that was important to individuals, but it wasn’t really important to do the big thing, which was win the Super Bowl. … Guys on the team wasn’t really willing to push to go get what was important.”
Brown’s apology to the police department was in the form of a social media post. He acknowledged how out of line he was for screaming threats and profanities at officers gathered at his home to investigate a disturbance that involved the mother of his children. Brown had the audacity to post the incident on-line.
“To everyone who I may have offended or Disrespected at the @hollywoodflpd Of the state of Florida, I would like to sincerely give you all my apology from the top and bottom of my heart, And as a human being and an professional athlete I can honestly say that my emotions did cloud my better Judgment, When you all were only there to help me.”
Brown is no longer under house arrest, but is required to check in with court personnel every day.
Perhaps no apology was more comprehensive than the one he offered to ESPN. Brown really sounded beaten down and contrite.
“I think I owe the whole NFL an apology and my past behavior,” Brown said. “I think I could have done a lot of things better.”
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell did his part by offering Brown an olive branch last week at the Super Bowl by saying he was more concerned about him personally than whether he’d be able to resume his career.
“I was pleased to hear that after 140 days that there was some positivity about me because as of late I’ve just been the cancer of the NFL,” Brown said. “The problem child, the guy who gets in trouble, the kind of guy who has the bad narrative about him.”
Brown, who hasn’t played since the Patriots released him, is being investigated by the NFL following a lawsuit filed by his former trainer, Britney Taylor, who claims she was sexually assaulted by Brown on multiple occasions.
ESPN asked Brown if he felt he needed mental health or whether he feared he might have chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the brain disease caused repeated blows to the head.
“We all need mental help,” Brown said.
Brown told 93.7 The Fan that he had no idea if he’d ever play in the NFL again.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do right now,” Brown said. “I’m just taking it one day at a time.”
One thing is for certain. Brown better be on his best behavior or he’ll never catch another pass in the NFL.