Buccaneers used "surprise attack" to justify firing of Antonio Brown, says lawyer

Sean Burstyn questions the way Tampa Bay handled the Antonio Brown affair and that they sought a pretext to fire him

TAMPA, Fla. – Antonio Brown’s attorney says the Tampa Bay Buccaneers terminated the wide receiver’s contract this week for failing to show up for a doctor’s appointment that he was unable to attend, calling the move a “surprise attack” in a series of tweets.

“We were about to schedule an appointment with the Bucs’ chosen surgeon when we learned via Twitter that they fired AB on Thursday for not seeing the same surgeon,” attorney Sean Burstyn tweeted. “… The Bucs chose an arbitrary appointment time outside of normal business hours early Thursday morning. They also looked for an appointment Wednesday afternoon at the last minute. (Bucs’ new interest in AB’s health was a surprise. Didn’t he stop being a Buc on Sunday night?) “.

Burstyn wrote that they tried to reschedule and said the Buccaneers claim Brown “refuses to show up for a doctor’s appointment” as a justification for his firing.

“The Bucs did this because they know that Coach Arians’ firing of AB on the field of play was degrading, inhuman, abusive and illegal. So They tried to cover it up using their latest dirty trick: ‘Surprise Attack’, medical care they planned for AB“Burstyn tweeted.” This was to create a pretext. All Antonio did was ask a doctor with up-to-date medical records to see him at a reasonable time. When AB spoke about his health this week, he was fired. In the field, then on Twitter. “

Brown said in a statement Wednesday that he was unable to play the New York Jets due to an ankle injury. He said an MRI on Monday revealed broken bone fragments, a torn bone ligament and loss of cartilage and that he will need surgery.

Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians said Thursday that while he and Brown discussed the ankle injury during the week the wide receiver did not participate in practice on Thursday or Friday before the game, participated in light training on Saturday and was authorized to play. Arians stressed that he did not learn of the severity of Brown’s injury during the game and that Brown’s frustration was because the ball was not thrown at him.

After Brown refused to continue in Sunday’s game, Arians told him, “You’re done. Get out of here.” Brown then stripped off his jersey, threw his gloves and undershirt into the stands, and ran off the field.

Arians stressed that he would never ask a player to play injured.

Burstyn thinks the Buccaneers use Brown’s track record (11 games lost due to suspension in the past two seasons; one arrest for assaulting a truck driver and two public charges of sexual assault) against him. While Brown acknowledged that he has “made mistakes” in his statement this week, Brown and Burstyn argue that that shouldn’t stop him from feeling pain and signaling when he is in pain while playing.

“The Bucs use AB’s past to get out of trouble The one they got themselves into last Sunday, “Burstyn tweeted.” It’s the kind of manipulation that made Antonio write ‘I don’t understand how people who publicly say they are concerned about my mental health can do these things to me in private.’

Brown’s comments on Friday on the Full Send Podcast also indicate that he grew increasingly frustrated with his salary. Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht told Adam schefter from ESPN that Brown’s agent had approached the team recently to guarantee $ 2 million of his incentives and that Tampa Bay refused.

Licht also told Schefter that the Buccaneers made two appointments in New York, where Brown was still after leaving Sunday’s game, to place him on injured reserve and pay him the remainder of his season salary. Licht reported that Brown never returned his text messages or phone calls, nor did he send his medical records, including the MRI Brown had on Monday that they requested.

Burstyn said they never received a request for medical records.

“Show me a request for medical records. We never got one,” Burstyn countered on ESPN. “They called and asked us to call back Wednesday night. They didn’t tell us what the call was about. They said to call back ASAP. We had an internal discussion with the team Thursday morning to go over the options. before calling again. At noon, they went ahead and took the most drastic action: fire him. “