Published 1: 12 PM EST Feb 6, 2020
NFL free agent wide receiver Antonio Brown is continuing his apology tour.
In a radio interview Thursday with 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh, Brown said he was sorry for “distractions” that he caused when he was a member of the Steelers for nine seasons.
“I apologize to those guys for the distractions, the unwanted attention that I probably caused those guys, to the organization,” Brown told 93.7 The Fan. “Obviously you want to clear out any baggage or any disrespect or unintended attention that was brought on to the organization. These guys gave me an opportunity when I was 21 years old. I’m forever grateful to those guys, to have the opportunity to not only play with those guys but to be in so many amazing moments.
“We’ve been through so much. I’m forever grateful and indebted to this organization. Mr. Rooney, Mike Tomlin, Kevin Colbert, Ben Roethlisberger, I started my career with those guys. A lot of beautiful moments, a lot of positive things, so it’s not all bad. I just think from an emotional standpoint, when things got bad, they just seemed bad. But we had a lot more good moments than bad.”
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Brown had an acrimonious end in Pittsburgh that culminated in his missing practices and meetings leading up to a regular-season finale game against the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2018 season. The team listed Brown as a healthy scratch and he later forced his way out of town in a trade to the Oakland Raiders.
Brown said of his departure in Pittsburgh that “it was time to move on,” that he was “frustrated” and he was “emotionally drained” from the tensions simmering between Brown, Roethlisberger, and others in the organization.
Some of the tensions stemmed from Roethlisberger, the Steelers quarterback, publicly criticizing Brown in a radio interview, following a 24-17 loss to the Broncos in Week 12 of the 2018 season. With 1: 07 left in the game, Roethlisberger threw an interception in the end zone on a pass that was intended for Brown, and the quarterback subsequently blamed the receiver for the receiver by saying he should have adjusted on the route.
“At the time, what was important for me – winning a Super Bowl – with the team and guys and what we wanted to do,” Brown said of his departure in Pittsburgh. “I just think we had a lot of things that was important to individuals, but it wasn’t important to do the big thing, which was win the Super Bowl. I’m at the point in my career where I’m getting older and the things that’s important is winning.”
Brown called Roethlisberger “a great guy” on Thursday.
Brown added that he felt that “guys on the team wasn’t really willing to push to go get what was important” during his final seasons with the Steelers.
Brown never appeared in a regular-season game with the Raiders, who released the four-time all-pro before the start of the season. Brown had injured his feet in a cryotherapy accident and then waged a battle against the NFL to seek to wear a helmet model that had been declared obsolete. He also missed practices and meetings before Oakland released him.
The Patriots then signed Brown, and he appeared in a Week 2 game last season, his only game appearance of the year. He caught four passes for 56 yards and one touchdown in 43-0 victory against the Miami Dolphins, who play in Brown’s hometown.
Multiple women made allegations of sexual assault and misconduct against Brown, and the Patriots released the receiver on Sept. 20 after Sports Illustrated reported that he had harassed one of the alleged victims of sexual assault.
Brown has since been a free agent, and an NFL investigation into the allegations is ongoing.
Brown has also been in legal trouble after he was arrested in Hollywood and charged with burglary with battery, burglary of an unoccupied conveyance and criminal mischief. The charges were filed in connection with the alleged assault of a moving-truck driver who was parked in front of Brown’s home in Hollywood, Florida.
“I don’t really have anger, I just think I’m bored,” Brown said. “Football keep a lot of my focus and not being able to have that thing to take my energy out or put my focus toward allow me to be bored and react to things that I normally wouldn’t react to.”