Antonio Brown says relationship with Steelers is ‘not getting better’
INDIANAPOLIS – Antonio Brown’s relationship with the Steelers is “not getting better,” the All-Pro wide receiver told ESPN in an interview.
ESPN released an excerpt of an interview that will air in its entirety on Saturday morning. The interviewed is titled “AB Wide Open,” with Brown being interviewed by ESPN reporter Jeff Darlington.
In the excerpt, Brown focused on general manager Kevin Colbert’s comment in which he called quarterback Ben Roethlisberger the “unquestioned leader” with the rest of the players being “52 kids.”
“He pretty much explained what I said to everyone,” said Brown, who has criticized on social media Roethlisberger’s status within the organization. “He confirmed it. He confirmed everything I said.”
“What grown man is calling another grown man a kid, 52 kids?” Brown added. “You don’t have no respect for these guys? These guys go to work with you. That’s my issue, it’s all about respect.
“Things (are) not getting better, nothing is changing. It’s 52 kids and this guy. It’s one team.”
Brown took his left hand and raised it about six inches higher than his right.
“This guy is here,” he said, referring to Roethlisberger with his left hand, “even if the team is here (with the right hand), but when we are all together, we are here.”
Brown lowered the left hand to be on the same plane as his right.
Colbert clarified his comments last week to NFL Network, and he was asked about it again Wednesday at the NFL Combine.
“The 52 kids comment, if anyone was there for the entire 30 minutes of the interview, they understood what I was saying, and I put myself first in the line for blame for our 9-6-1 non-playoff season,” Colbert said. “When referencing the 52 kids, what I was referencing is Ben Roethlisberger is the only player on our roster that has won a Super Bowl.”
Colbert added that he expressed a similar sentiment to team captains Maurkice Pouncey and Cam Heyward at their season-ending exit interviews. Brown, of course, did not speak with Colbert after the season because he skipped his exit interview.
The interview with ESPN is the first one that Brown has granted a national outlet.
“I know my fans want to hear from me,” he said. “I sit back and watch everyone take all kind of jabs, uppercuts at me, Mr. Big Chest, I didn’t complain, I didn’t point the finger.
“Obviously, I know there are some cultural issues that already were at hand that I already knew but I couldn’t really say that out of respect for the organization and for the members I work with. I didn’t want to put them in an uncomfortable position.”
Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .