There is a lot to unpack about the whole Antonio Brown story, yes. But here’s one aspect of his football life right here in this highlight [or rather, lowlight] video, courtesy of Vontaze Burfict. The video probably won’t play here so you’ll be referred to YouTube but I’m keeping the screenshot.
And this recent Twitter thread. Check out the comments. That’s my point in this thread. Social media is full of people who have an opinion. Ain’t it fun? Who is to judge how much of an ass he is? Is head trauma a factor in all this? And how about all those people with a Ph.D. in the way YOU oughtta be? How are they judging you?
September 29, 2019 Update:
Vontaze Burfict in yet another targeting foul. Apparently it is his sixth so far. As you read all the comments about how awful he is and should be banned from the NFL, recall that Antonio Brown was the victim in two of those hits. Does it remove any of Brown’s culpability in his troubles? You decide, all you arm chair quarterbacks.
Hits like that do significant damage. He’s an NFL wide receiver at the time of that hit so one must conclude there has been football action since high school and probably before. At least a few knocks of his head with a body or the turf at high force each season. And no he wasn’t completely protected – the helmet keeps the skull from getting damaged but not the soft tissues shoved around inside. That’s been proven over and over again. Even if all those hits weren’t as hard as the one shown here they did have cumulative effects. I don’t know how he faired after that hit on January 9, 2016. It was one of the last few plays of a hard fought playoff game so it wasn’t like his body was fresh as a daisy either. He did not play in the next game for the Steelers and they lost to Denver so we don’t know if he’d have been able to play that next week.
Here’s his Wikipedia page for the details on how well he played in the following 2017 and 2018 seasons. Pretty strong performance data there so he clearly hadn’t lost much of his physical abilities. By the way, Vontaze Burfict delivered another dirty hit to his head in the 2018 season. But who was he as a person before and after that those hits? I ask that here because I have an ever so slightly similar pattern. There isn’t video of my crash but I was getting to be a good long course triathlete for a 50 year old guy. That crash really messed me up physically for several months. I was stronger than at any other time in my life in May of 2014 and at least got back to running and did the 2015 Philadelphia Marathon a year and a half later. I say did rather than ran because even though I trained hard and had a modest pacing target I was only meeting my goal until about mile 15. And then, well, it was about 10 miles of painful walking and bargaining with God over and over again for just that next tree or that cross street. Trying to do that race was stupidity on an epic level but I was determined to prove I was okay in this pointless gesture to myself. But I looked good, before the race that is, and that’s what counts, right? Heh.
For the casual observer I was apparently back to normal but that was only the physical side of recovery. The cognitive side, not so much and I still am working on it. Antonio Brown’s physical recovery was tremendous as his 2017 and 2018 statistics show. I suppose people thought he was back to normal as well. But was he always a showboating jerk or just after that 2016 knock out blow? Or what about the 2018 hit and surely others between January 2016 and 2019? If you follow the news on him he wasn’t the easiest guy to be around. But hey, he could run and catch a football so PAY THE MAN!
Looking through the comments on Twitter shows a common divide TBI survivors are very familiar with. Yup. His behavior and alleged actions cannot stand if proven true but is there an explanation for them in his prior head trauma? Emotional control issues, poor decision-making, flawed social boundaries and sexual violence aren’t unheard of after significant head injuries. Okay, explanation – possibly. But excuse? No way, at least as far as I’m concerned. I wonder what his doctors advised him on his condition these past few years, except for maybe that doctor whose face he deliberately farted in.