Antonio Brown, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver, may be forced to leave the team because he misrepresented his vaccination status and was subsequently suspended for three games by the NFL.
Tampa Bay coach Bruce Arians fueled that speculation even further by declining to comment on what will happen next with the wide receiver and safety Mike Edwards, both suspended by the NFL because they lied about their vaccination status.
More Likely to Leave Than Not
Arians said that they would “address their future” once they come back from suspension. That statement clearly leaves the door open for Brown and Edwards to stay with the team.
However, it is also vague enough that many people would interpret it as Arians saying that both players’ days with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are numbered.
According to some sources, the Bucs are yet to make a decision about what will happen to Brown once he returns from his three-game suspension. However, a different source claimed that it was more likely that the Bucs would get rid of both players, even though they could still change their minds.
The NFL Should Penalize Players Showing Fake Vaccination Cards
Coach Bruce Arians must have felt particularly let down by Edwards and Brown, especially as he made it his goal to get the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a 100% vaccination status. He also urged the NFL to continue to look closely into the vaccination status of players and to penalize those that misrepresent it.
Arians’ call to the NFL to fine or suspend players lying about their vaccination status might get a few players to rethink about misrepresenting their status. However, chances are that there aren’t many NFL stars who are doing that.
Most players, around 80% of them, were vaccinated either with their clubs’ supervision or at the clubs’ facilities. That means that the number of players who could potentially produce fake vaccination cards is pretty low, to begin with.
Brown Didn’t Appeal the Suspension
Antonio Brown accepted his suspension and has decided not to appeal the decision. That’s because the NFL was planning to issue a much longer, six-to-eight-game suspension at first, but after protests from the NFLPA, the players’ union, the NFL decided to go with a reduced three-game ban.
Another reason why the Bucs wide receiver decided not to appeal the suspension was the fact that he is still injured. He would have missed the next two games for Tampa Bay anyway with his ankle injury.
Both Brown and Edwards have got their shots now. However, considering the consequences, they are probably kicking themselves for not doing that sooner, especially as presenting fake vaccination crimes is also a federal crime.