Antonio Brown further dumps on Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers in HBO broadcast
Speaking to an empathetic audience of seven others in addition to an HBO film crew, Antonio Brown once again lashed out at Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers by way of telling his side of the story that’s led to his pending divorce from the organization.
Brown was a guest on an episode of “The Shop,” a half-hour show hosted by LeBron James and his associate Maverick Carter that premiered late Friday evening on HBO. Brown did not speak over the first 11 minutes of the episode that aired, much of that early portion while he was getting his hair cut in the barbershop-style setting.
Brown once again lamented Roethlisberger for calling him out after an interception in the end zone during the final minute of a November loss in Denver. That prompted Carter to ask, “Why would Ben do that? What’s up with that?”
“(That’s) the type of guy he is,” Brown responded. “He feels like he’s the owner.
“‘Bro, you threw the (expletive) to the D-lineman. What the (expletive)? I’m over here wide open. You need to give me a better ball.”
Brown seemed to imply he was “acting” — at the prompting of a team employee — when later that week he defended Roethlisberger’s comments on his 93.7 FM radio show in which he said Brown needed “to run a flatter route.”
“You’re going to have a guy from the team that’ll be like, ‘Boy, you can’t say nothing,’ ” Brown said. “ ‘I need you to get out there like …’ But it’s like, why I got to be acting? At least ask a (guy) how he feels first.”
In explaining his absence from the team over the final two practices of the season in advance of the must-win season finale in December, Brown said coach Mike Tomlin told him to leave — an act that irked Brown.
“I meet with Coach Tomlin, and I’m telling him like, ‘Hey, man, I’m a little banged up, so I’m going to need a little time to get right,’ ” Brown said. “So, he’s like, ‘If you’re banged up, man, just, you know, you can just go home …’ Like, ‘You ain’t even got to be here.’
“So … I’m going to war for these guys, putting my life on the line, and it’s like, it’s an unknown when it comes to me just like right now, the write-ups. And it’s like, you know what I mean, they control the narrative. … They could just paint you any kind of way then. And that’s the thing people don’t know is like, you know, it’s a controlled environment to where they could kind of determine if they want to let me eat or not.”
Earlier, Brown wasn’t given a chance to respond to Carter’s question about if there was “any shot” Brown would return to play for the Steelers. James instead interrupted and answered, “There’s no shot of him going back to Pittsburgh.”
Other than Roethlisberger and his specific issue with Tomlin instructing him to go home in lieu of practicing, Brown never specified who most drew his ire. He often referred to a “they” that could be interpreted as the either organization or media.
At one point, he was angry some were upset he showed up to the Steelers’ finale at Heinz Field in a fur coat and not in team gear.
“They don’t like (when you are) yourself,” Brown said. “They’re talking about my furs. Like, who don’t like to get swaggy? That’s why we work hard, you know what I’m saying? They’re like, ‘Oh, he came to the game (in fur) … Look, yo, it don’t matter what I come with.
“But that’s the narrative they try to create. Once you’re doing your own thing, it’s like, ‘Yo, this guy’s a distraction. He’s this type of guy.’ ”
While Brown interjected at other points during the episode, the portion that discussed him and his situation with the Steelers lasted about 4 minutes.
Also on the episode, the first of the show’s second season, were New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis, rappers Meek Mill and 2 Chainz, actor/comedian/singer Jamie Foxx and actor/comedian Jerrod Carmichael.
“All I ever been was a guy who came from Central Michigan, sixth round, who worked his (butt) off,” Brown said. “That’s all.”
James marveled at how Brown became a potential future Hall of Famer after being taken 195th overall in the 2010 draft.
“Three contracts later,” Brown said, “you know, I’m milking the game, you know what I’m saying?”
James concurred, wrapping up the Brown-centric discussion by saying, sarcastically: “And now he’s a distraction all of a sudden.”
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .