EXCLUSIVE: Antonio Brown Opens Up on Mental Health, Viral Outburst at Cops

Tim Kelly
February 06, 2020 - 11:01 am

You could probably write a 1,000 page book about the last year of Antonio Brown's life.

Frankly, the last month of his life hasn't been short on headlines.

In mid-January, Brown livestreamed a video on Instagram cursing at both the police and the mother of three of his children. That marked the second time in two months that he filmed himself arguing with the police at his home in Florida.

A week after the second video surfaced, Brown was arrested and charged with a felony after he and his trainer allegedly assaulted a moving truck driver. Brown was able to bail himself out of jail, but his bail came with conditions, per the AP. One of those conditions? A mental health evaluation.

"I'm pretty good man," Brown said Thursday on the 93.7 The Fan Morning Show when asked about his mental health. "Those guys put me in a crazy jacket, I don't know why they did that. I just think, man, mental health is really important. It's really difficult for me when I can't even go out in public...everyone is coming up to me putting their camera phones...everyone has got an agenda on what they want to get from me or what they can make off me. So it's good to be around people and talk to people that don't have an agenda...that can just support your mental health and listen to you. It's not about the material things or money, people need support...support and love. They need someone they can call, people they can listen to that don't have any agendas.

"For me, it's about surrounding myself with people that protect my best interests...people that work as hard as me and people that aspire to win."

Colin Dunlap, the host of KDKA's "The Fan Morning Show," asked Brown how he believed he would be treated with respect if he continued to post videos of himself cursing at police officers on his Instagram.

"A lot of things, people judge me off reacting in a certain way," Brown said. "But people don't know why I react a certain way or what I've been through.

"I'm not saying that anyone is out to get me, sir. You're not listening. The police were at my house to help me from someone trying to take something from me, sir. It took one hour. I'm not making an excuse, I could have reacted in a positive way."

Brown went on to list a series of events that have caused him to be frustrated in exchanges with the police, and his public perception in general. He cited a November 2018 speeding charge that ultimately found him guilty of going over 100 mph on the way to a game as a reason he was frustrated with the police. Brown skipped his court date for that charge, and video below documents him speeding, something he suggested in the interview he couldn't have done based the layout of the traffic lights in the area:

The Pittsburgh Steelers traded Brown to the Oakland Raiders last offseason for a third-round pick and a fifth-round pick. Though he apologized to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers organization in the interview, the two appeared to have irreconcilable differences by the end of the 2018 season, Brown's ninth with the team.

After a tumultuous preseason with the Raiders, Brown was released and latched on with the New England Patriots. Brown caught four passes for 56 yards and a touchdown in the Patriots 43-0 Week 2 win over the Miami Dolphins. That proved to be his only game with the team.

In less than two total weeks as an employee of the organization, Brown was accused of rape by one woman, and sexual misconduct by another. The Patriots released him after Robert Klemko of MMQB obtained threatening text messages that Brown sent to the second woman after the story was published.

Independent of those two accusations, Brown says that time away from football is at least partly to blame for his recent issues with the law.

"I don't really have anger, I just think I'm really bored," he said. "Football kept a lot of my focus, and not being able to have that thing that took my energy out on and that I put my focus towards, allowed me to be bored and be able to react to things that I normally wouldn't react to."

In the interview, Brown, 31, sounded unsure about whether his NFL career will resume. Deep down, though, there still seems to be part of him that's aware of how well his athletic ability set up him in life.

"I'm a blessed guy...I got a blessed life...I'm healthy...I don't take it for granted."

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