Antonio Brown just can’t let go of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Brown, currently a wide receiver for the Oakland Raiders, has reeled off a series of social media messages seemingly in response to recent quotes from Pittsburgh’s brass while responding to questions about Brown’s recent departure. On Wednesday, Brown fired a direct message at new Steelers No. 1 receiver, JuJu Smith-Schuster.
Brown posted the following message on social media earlier this week following JuJu’s public support of Ben Roethlisberger, the player Brown has been openly criticizing for months.
It’s clear that Brown has some unresolved issues with the Steelers despite Pittsburgh granting him his request to be traded. Maybe he isn’t happy about not being able to end his career in Pittsburgh. Maybe he’s upset that he has been cast as a villain in Pittsburgh despite putting up “Thank You” billboards in the city shortly after being traded. Maybe he’s still jealous about Smith-Schuster’s rising stardom, not only in Pittsburgh but throughout the country. It was JuJu, not Brown, that took part in the NFL’s celebrated 100th anniversary commercial that aired during Super Bowl LIII. It was JuJu, not Brown, who took home the Steelers’ team MVP award last season.
Regardless of the reason why, it’s become apparent that Brown just can’t publicly let go of his negative feelings towards the Steelers. Instead of embracing the Raiders and his new situation, Brown seems stuck in the past while trying to win a public relations battle that he shouldn’t even be focusing on. Time is the only thing that will ultimately heal the wounds that currently exist between Brown and Pittsburgh, but as long as Brown keeps picking at that wound, it will take longer for the healing process to begin.
While Brown continues to discuss his old team and his old teammates through social media, the Steelers have moved on without him and have set their sights towards the 2019 season. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, who affectionately referred to Brown as “AB” during his time in Pittsburgh, had clearly moved on with regard to no longer having Brown on his roster when asked about him during this week’s annual owners meeting.
“I think that relationships run their course and the fact that neither one of them are here [Brown and Bell] speaks to that,” said Tomlin, who is beginning his 13th season as Pittsburgh’s head coach. “But I’ll also say we’ve got good players on our team, and no disrespect to those guys or what they’ve been able to do over the course of their careers, particularly in Pittsburgh, but we had a Pro Bowl wideout on our team who’s still on our team from last year. We had a Pro Bowl running back last year who was on our team who’s still on our team. So we’ve got good players, we’ve got good quality players specifically at those positions. Will we need additional plays from other people, certainly, but you have that discussion and make those statements year-in and year-out, and we do.”