Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown

Getty Images

Get Off The Gas, AB

Step back from Twitter. Step back from Instagram.

January 17, 2019 - 12:40 pm

If there's anything more tired and lame than the New England Patriots calling themselves underdogs, it's the slo-motion divorce going down in Pittsburgh between the Steelers and Antonio Brown. 

This brawl busted out of the locker room and hit the streets in Week 17. And since then, it's only gotten bigger, uglier, and way worse for all parties involved. 

Earlier this week, new Tampa Bay Bucs head coach Bruce Arians was asked about Brown. BA coached AB for his first two years in the league. Arians had a front row seat and watched Brown go from a 6th rounder to a rookie with just 16 catches for 167 yards to a second-year stud who made the Pro Bowl with over 1,100 yards. 

BA isn't a guy to mince words. And in a podcast conversation with Adam Schefter he said what a lot of people are saying: He said Brown was acting like a "diva" and said, "This isn't the Antonio that was drafted in 2010."

Then there's former teammate Emmanuel Sanders. Sanders was getting some reps as an analyst on the NFL Network when he was asked about AB. And the answer he gave was firm, fair, and from a position of knowledge: "When Art Rooney came out and said that, it was pretty much he's gone. Being around the Pittsburgh Steelers organization, Art Rooney doesn't say much, but when he says something he means it. This situation has really, really gotten out of hand. And it's crazy, because I don't like to see it. But I feel like Antonio brought it on himself. You cannot turn your back on your brothers and the Pitt Steelers organization who gave you an opportunity to make you who you are as a football player. For you to leave on a Wednesday and have your agent call on a Sunday, is the ultimate disrespect to the Pittsburgh Steelers organization. That's why Art Rooney feels the way he feels...

Again, that's a completely fair statement by a guy who knows the parties involved. Hell, Emmanuel Sanders handled that response like a boss. He didn't play both sides, he didn't wobble. That was as good of an answer as you are gonna get, from another guy who knows what he's talking about. 

But that didn't stop AB from hopping on Twitter and going after both Arians and Sanders. 

@AB84 tweeted: (Arians) didn’t draft me, he drafted Emmanuel Sanders. Same guy who missed rehab to go on networks to talk about me on situation he have zero clue! Arians now wears (kangol) hats n glasses (crying face emoji) but i'm a diva! Done seen it all then they say we friends. Stop (lying). 

I'll be honest, when I saw that tweet, I wished immediately that I didn't.

AB, STOP MAN. Step back from Twitter. Step back from Instagram. Hell, step back from teasing some big interview that's coming. I think a half a million Steelers fans started following James Harrison on the gram and all they've gotten since then are some pointers on how to dumbbell press a dump-truck and a Bruce Lee quote.

Because Sanders clapped back on Twitter and served his second dose of reality this week: 

Four Crying Face emoji's followed by: You know damn well I didn’t travel to LA to talk about you fam. You trippin, yo. I went to be a analyst in which you acting foolish was the topic and I gave my analytical opinion. Get off the gas, yo. You did it to yourself. 


Couldn't have said it better myself. 

Look, every day that passes makes this breakup more inevitable. Art Rooney II got in front of the local media yesterday and he didn't back pedal off his comments from last week, where he said it was "hard to envision" AB being with the team next year. He basically doubled down. 

And while I can't even imagine a scenario where Brown OR the Steelers are better off without each other, this brawl isn't dying out, it's picking up. Former Steelers coaches and players now throwing haymakers -- and landing them. The brand and business AB has built both on and off the field over the last 9 years is taking on water by the minute. 

I've said it before and I’ll say it again. This is an AB house. He's one of the most electric playmakers I’ve ever seen. And his off-the-field game is almost as good. I like AB. But I hate this scenario. So for the sake of this dude and this team, let me say this: