Steelers’ Brown leaks controversial locker room video
Courtesy of star wide receiver Antonio Brown, the Pittsburgh Steelers have garnered a plethora of unwanted spotlight heading into their AFC Championship matchup against the New England Patriots.
Following Pittsburgh’s playoff win over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, Jan. 15, Brown recorded and streamed the team’s postgame locker room meeting via Facebook Live. The banter was clearly not meant for the public eye, as shown by Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin’s profane remarks regarding the Patriots.
Brown, who has made five Pro Bowl appearances and been a key part of the Steelers’ success over the last decade, violated league rules with the video in addition to angering many of his teammates.
“I absolutely regret the Facebook Live situation,” Brown said in his apology on Tuesday. “Total distraction to the organization, total distraction to my teammates, obviously disrespect to my coach. I’ve got the utmost respect for our coach, so I totally regret that.”
Tomlin also issued an apology, although not directly to the Patriots: “I apologize as a parent for the language.”
Tomlin made clear that the franchise was not happy with Brown’s behavior, calling his actions “selfish and inconsiderate,” and noting that he will face punishment from the Steelers.
Brown’s video also violated the league’s social media policy, which prohibits tweets, live videos and so on from 90 minutes prior to kickoff through the conclusion of postgame media obligations. As a result, Brown will likely face external discipline from the NFL.
Some of Brown’s teammates are attempting to move past the incident. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger called it “water under the bridge,” while tailback Le’Veon Bell also offered condolence.
“I’m always going to support him, whatever he does,” Bell said of Brown. “He obviously wasn’t trying to do anything to hurt anybody.”
Several New England players took offense to the situation, however, including wide receiver Julian Edelman. “That’s how that team is run,” he said. “I personally don’t think that would be something that would happen in our locker room, but hey, whatever. Some people like red and some people like blue. Some people like tulips and some people like roses. Whatever.”
“That’s against our team policy,” added quarterback Tom Brady. “I don’t think that would go over well with our coach.”
When asked, Belicheck was business as usual, focusing on the upcoming game. Addressing the media he claimed, “I’m not really concerned about social media. I’m trying to get our team ready to play.”
The Steelers hoped for this fire to be put out by Sunday, Jan. 22, when the played the Patriots in an attempt to clinch a Super Bowl berth, but they were defeated 36-17.