Right off the bat, let’s take off those orange-and-blue-tinted glasses.
OK, now that that’s done, listen up. If the Oakland Raiders won’t suspend Antonio Brown, then the NFL should.
And not just because it would mean one of the best — if not the best — wide receivers in football won’t match up against the Denver Broncos on Monday night. Hence why we’re all looking at this with clear eyes.
Instead, the widely-talented-but-self-absorbed superstar’s actions of the past few days, weeks and months meet the exact definition of violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.
The policy reads: “Everyone who is part of the league must refrain from ‘conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in’ the NFL.”
Everyone. Not just players whom the league can market. Not just those who earn All-Pro and Pro Bowl nods. Not those whose team relies heavily upon for success.
In the latest chapter of the drama storm that is Antonio Brown, ESPN’s Josina Anderson reported Friday that the wideout had directed the term “cracker” toward Raiders general manager Mike Mayock during a spat midway through practice on Wednesday.
And while the incident did not become physical, sources told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport on Thursday that Brown had threatened to punch Mayock in the face.
Instead of gearing up to face Denver in Week 1, the wide receiver decided to confront his GM about a fine levied, legitimately, against his for missing team activities — a grievance he public aired earlier in the day on Instagram.
— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) September 4, 2019
Put aside the childish antics, like throwing a hissy fit over not being able to wear the same helmet he had his entire career. Set aside that jeopardized not only his health but playing status by failing to properly protect himself while undergoing a cryotherapy session, the results of which left him with extreme frostbite on his feet.
Throw out that he forced his way out of Pittsburgh by acting like a brat, setting a dangerous precedent for future club relations with star players.
Ignore that Oakland signed Brown to a three-year, $50.125 million deal — with $30.125 guaranteed — while also giving up a third- and fifth-round pick to the Steelers in exchange for his services.
In what line of work can you call your boss a racial epithet — not to mention a slew of obscenities — while also threatening violence and not be temporarily, if not permanently, removed from your position?
Certainly, Brown’s “emotional” apology to his teammates on Friday seems genuine. And conciliation is most definitely a step in the right direction.
But petulant children deserve to be put in time out. And if Jon Gruden, Mike Mayock and the Raiders brass want to cave like an annoyed parent, then the NFL needs to step in for the sake of the league.