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Antonio Brown Shoots Down Vontaze Burfict, CTE Questions



Former Steelers wideout Antonio Brown

Since departing from the Steelers in 2019, Antonio Brown’s career arc has taken too many crazy turns to count.

He doesn’t take particularly kindly to being asked about head injuries, as demonstrated by his recent appearance on the PBD Podcast, which is hosted by entrepreneur Patrick Bet-David.

Bet-David brought up the infamous, concussion-causing hit that he took from Cincinnati linebacker Vontaze Burfict in the Steelers’ playoff matchup with the Bengals in Jan. 2016.

“You guys pick a point in the career that you guys think you can focus on a target,” Brown responded. “The same thing I walked off the field for, that I didn’t want to get — CTE — is the same thing they put on me.

“You guys get uncomfortable because you don’t understand or you try to marginalize. You try to take me back to a moment that you think got me acting this way.”

He was seemingly upset by the fact that — with the decisions he’s made, such as making fun of former teammate Tom Brady’s divorce — that play overshadows other notable moments in his career and his laundry list of accomplishments.

“I’ve got so many big moments in my career,” he said. “I won a Super Bowl. The best player that you guys call the GOAT called me to come help win the Super Bowl. I’m the No. 1 receiver in the Steelers’ history.”

For a long stretch, Antonio Brown wouldn’t allow Bet-David to finish a question.

“So what are you saying?” Brown asked. “Every football player is signing up to get CTE, right? … If they don’t act like you think they should act, you’re going to go back to a moment when they got hit and say you got CTE because you’re crazy.

“So, it’s like, my people, no matter what we do, we’re damned if we do this (or) we do this.”

He redirected the subject several times as Bet-David persisted in trying to get his thoughts on his injury history.

“We don’t look at injuries in the career,” Brown said. “We look at highlights, moments, winnings, earnings … I’m a football player, I took millions of hits, sir. Millions of hits. But, that’s the only moment you seem to focus on because you want to irrationalize my being.”

He also said that he would encourage a child to do what’s best for them and what makes them happy, but the situation of playing football depends on their circumstance.

“In my situation, I would tell your son, ‘Don’t play football?'” Brown said. “Is it worth it? Is it worth sacrificing your health? Sacrificing your mind and not having a life?”

Brown, the second-leading receiver in Steelers history, hasn’t played football since leaving during the middle of a game with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in January. He said in October that the next time he’ll play football is with his son, insinuating that his time in the NFL is through.

He seems to be fine with that.

“They said I couldn’t be a rapper, you see what it is,” Brown said. “I’m doing it. They said I walked off the field, I was crazy, I have CTE. Now, they’re doing the CTE dance.”

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