Even after his team has been kicked out of the National Arena League, former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver and Albany Empire owner Antonio Brown is still finding himself in the middle of drama.
Moe Leggett, who had been the team’s interim head coach before it was kicked out of the league for Brown failing to make required dues payments, told News 10 in Albany that his paycheck from the team’s final game and the paychecks of some of the team’s players were pulled from their back accounts after they had initially been direct deposited. Players that had not been signed up for direct deposit have not been paid at all.
“Frustration, anger, disbelief, shock, you name it,” Leggett said to News 10. “It’s a very unfortunate situation that we’re being put in. We just want to put it behind us. Just pay what the guys are owed and we’ll just move on. No hard feelings. But you’re playing with people’s livelihoods.”
Brown’s season as owner of the Empire was filled with drama from the start. There was a dispute with his co-owners about the percentage of the team that he owed, he was kicked off the field by his own security staff, he fired multiple coaches, the team was kicked out of hotel rooms for non-payment and Brown said that he would play for the team, only to bail at the last moment, citing a paperwork technicality.
Brown told reporters in Albany that he intends for the Empire to join the Arena Football League, which is reviving itself for the 2024 season, next spring. Of course, he said that during a shirtless press conference where he referred to both himself and his alter ego in the third person, so that should likely be taken with a grain of salt.