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Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson and Frank Schwab discuss Antonio Brown’s bizarre mid-game exit from the Buccaneers win over the Jets. What does it mean for Brown’s football career? How did the rest of the league react? Is Brown getting an unjustified pass from some due to the questions about his mental health? Hear the full conversation on the You Pod to Win the Game podcast. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you listen.
CHARLES ROBINSON: Frank, only in the NFL could we get to week 17, have maybe the biggest story of the NFL season happen, and it is not about a team qualifying for the playoffs or anything-- or anything else that we would normally be talking about. Antonio Brown, the gift-- the gift that just keeps giving to anyone who comes into contact with him, clearly.
FRANK SCHWAB: Yes, I set the days since the last Antonio Brown incident counter to zero so. I stole that off Twitter, by the way. That's not an original joke. But yes, like, it's predictable and unpredictable at the same time, like, who could have seen this coming. But at the same time, when you sell your soul to have Antonio Brown on your roster, this is always a possibility. I can't remember anything like this honestly. Like--
CHARLES ROBINSON: Yeah.
FRANK SCHWAB: --like, Davante Davis retiring at halftime, but that didn't take place in the view of everybody, there in the locker room and all that. I seriously cannot remember anything, and I'm a sports nerd, you know that, Charles. So I keep track of this stuff. I know trivial stuff like this. I can't remember a dude just peacing out in the middle of a game and being like, I'm retired and off the field, like, you know, in view of everybody, throw your stuff into the crowd. Shocking. Like-- like it took me a minute to process it. Like, did he get ejected, and I didn't hear it. What happened? But just absolutely, positively, shocking.
But at the same time, hey, Tom Brady, you brought this guy in. Bruce Arians' been defending this guy lately, and then he didn't want to talk after the game about it. This is what you get. This is what you get when you bring Antonio Brown in your organization.
CHARLES ROBINSON: I started texting some other people in the league, and I'm just like, did you see this? Are you watching this? What are you-- what are you-- what is going through your mind right now? And let me-- I'll read you one text. And it was great because I hadn't really absorbed it the way he sort of put it.
I said-- I just said "Bro, in 20 years, I've never seen anything like this." I said, you go-- I could go back to covering Saban when I was in college at MSU, and I saw plenty of crazy stuff happen. But it's been 25 years, and I've never seen anything happen like this on-- on Sunday. He says, "It wasn't like he was playing for the Jets. He's in a playoff run with Tom Brady. What the [BLEEP]?
FRANK SCHWAB: Right.
CHARLES ROBINSON: That is--
FRANK SCHWAB: Also, Charles, he had three incentives. Each of them paying a third of a million dollars that he could have easily hit. It was like--
CHARLES ROBINSON: Oh, easily.
FRANK SCHWAB: --50 some yards, a touchdown, however many receptions. So he basically just said peace out to a million bucks and however much, and he probably would have got another job next year because he kind of had rehabilitated his image right before then. And I don't know. And look, I don't know how to say this without being a little insensitive. But all these amateur psychologists--
CHARLES ROBINSON: Yes.
FRANK SCHWAB: --on Twitter and all that--
CHARLES ROBINSON: I want to talk about this.
FRANK SCHWAB: --talking about-- they're playing Antonio Brown like he's the victim here. And we know enough about Antonio Brown right now. And I'm not just talking about-- Look, he can do whatever he wants football-wise. He peaces out his teammates at halftime, er, in the middle of the third quarter or whatever. Whatever. Like, that's-- that's bad for many reasons, but it's not all the stuff he's been accused of bad.
Let's-- let's talk about the real victims here. And that's some of the people Antonio Brown has treated very, very poorly on the way up. And I don't have any sympathy for him. Is he-- Is something wrong here? Probably. I would probably bet that there is. But let's not play Antonio Brown as a victim. That's part of the reason we got here, Charles, because everybody enables this guy. Everybody gives him second, third, fourth chances when time and time again he does not deserve this.
He's just good at football. Let's leave that be. He's a great football player. Hall of Famer in my mind. I don't know if he's going to make it now. That's an interesting topic. But let's stop enabling him. Let's stop playing him as the victim. He is not the victim here. This is all Antonio Browns doing.
CHARLES ROBINSON: I-- um, I saw the same tweets you did, where instantly it's like, people are like, you know, the second you start talking about it, they're like oh, this is clearly CTE, which A, nobody knows that.
FRANK SCHWAB: Nobody knows that.
CHARLES ROBINSON: Nobody knows that. OK, so don't say it's CTE because you don't know it's CTE. And then B, oh, it's-- it's mental health. People keep saying mental health. And so I wrote about this tonight. And one of the things I mentioned, I thought about it long and hard before I put it like this. But I talked about Brady and how Brady is also part of the enablers.
You know, he and-- he and Arians-- I think people have to understand that there is a reason why Antonio Brown went through the vaccination stuff, lied to everybody, got away with it, and then this happens. And you probably feel entitled to never change when the head coach and the quarterback, who are the two biggest people in your organization, are either framing everything you do through mental health or talking about how you've rehabilitated.
And I brought up that Bruce Arians had talked to Peter King and talked about-- into around creating a new history and like all this stuff. And I'm like, there is no new history. There's history. OK, so whatever you do now becomes part of all of the history. You don't divide it up and go well, my new history. This is how I am. You know, that's-- that's not-- it's like new virginity, OK. You don't get new virginity, OK. But--
FRANK SCHWAB: Right.
CHARLES ROBINSON: --what I said about-- about, you know, the mental health aspect of it, I said-- the way I put it as I said, it's becoming a seemingly negotiable hall pass when it comes to Browns responsibility for incidents big and small. So it's like, OK, so if it's mental health, is it all mental health? So it's all-- everything's mental health. No matter everything that he does or is some of it? Do we selectively decide what's mental health and what's not? Or at some point do you just go, OK, maybe it is mental health. Maybe it's not. If it is or isn't, both things can be happening simultaneously. You can be responsible also for some of the things that happen even if they're tied to your mental health.