The Tampa Bay Buccaneers released Antonio Brown after Sunday’s game midfield incident

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On Wednesday, Brown issued a statement through his lawyers saying that the Pirates knew he was dealing with an ankle injury-the team had previously denied this. Brown claimed that he was “fired on the sidelines due to his injury” and said that he “succumbed to pressure directly from my coach and injured him.”

On Thursday, the Buccaneers admitted to knowing that the wide receiver had recently dealt with an ankle injury, but disputed Brown’s claim that the wide receiver was pressured.

“The Tampa Bay Pirates have terminated Antonio Brown’s contract with immediate effect,” read a statement on Thursday.

“Although Antonio’s ankle did receive treatment and he was listed in the injury report the week before the game last Sunday, our medical team had allowed him to participate in the game before the game started, and he did not report to him during the game. Our medical staff indicated that he could not participate in the competition.

“We tried to arrange for an external orthopedic expert to conduct an evaluation several times this week, but Antonio did not comply. Maintaining the health of the players is of utmost importance to our organization.”

In a post-match interview on Sunday, the Pirates coach Bruce Arians told reporters, “He is no longer the Pirates, okay? This is the end of the story.”

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On Monday, Arians told reporters that Brown did not tell him that he was injured. “We had a conversation and he left the court,” Arians said. When asked whether the conversation with Brown on the sidelines was related to an ankle injury, Arians replied: “No.”

“I wish him all the best,” Arians said. “I hope if he needs help, please get some help… It’s difficult because I really care about him.”


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