ESPN Takes, NFL Takes

Antonio Brown’s public meltdown is continuing in spectacular fashion, as he recently posted a video to Instagram in which he implored the Patriots to reach out to him, saying, “Tell them to call me. They still gotta pay me, so they might as well let me earn it.” With the Patriots not owing Brown any money contractually, at least as far as we know, the statement was perplexing. Stephen A. Smith of First Take was not immune to the confusion.

“Did I miss something? Did I miss the news that he had won a grievance saying the Patriots gotta pay him? Because I don’t remember seeing that,” Smith said. “The word that comes to my mind is phony… Now you’re talking about the money and the football and the money, now that you’re not playing? You told us it didn’t matter to you, you told Jon Gruden it didn’t matter to you.”

Listen, Brown needs help. This whole episodic series of events is as clear a cry for attention and help as has ever been seen. He needs to be under a professional’s care, and since it may well be in part due to traumatic brain injuries sustained while he was on the field, it’s incumbent upon the NFL to take an active role in ensuring that he gets that help. Let’s stop treating him like a spectacle and start treating him like the patient he ought to be at this point. 

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