Antonio Brown spoke about the fracture in his relationship with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a podcast interview released Friday.
Brown talked about his friendship with Tom Brady and had choice words for coach Bruce Arians in the aftermath of the wide receiver walking out on the team midgame on Sunday afternoon. Brown made the remarks in an interview on the “Full Send Podcast.”
CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COM
Antonio Brown (81) and Tom Brady (12) of the Buccaneers hug one another during the Tennessee Titans-Tampa Bay Buccaneers joint training camp on Aug. 19, 2021, at the AdventHealth Training Center at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Florida. (Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
“Brady is the general manager. He’s the guy my agent made the contract with, he’s the middleman and politician. I talked to Tom and he knows I’m not going to play,” Brown said.
“To me, a friend is someone who’s got your back. Not everybody in sports is going to be your friend. Tom Brady’s my friend. Why? Because I’m a good player. He needs me to play football. People have different meanings of what friendship is.”
Brown insisted, still, that Arians and the team knew about the extent of his ankle injury and alleged the coach didn’t have his back in the process.
“Imagine the guy who you think has your back, who you flew here with to do a mission, and they know your situation, and you get there and you’re battling with them, then he tells you that because you can’t go to war with him, he tells you to get the f— out of there? I’m an alpha male. If you discriminate on my public image and my name, at that point it’s ‘f— you, too’ professionally,” Brown said.
ANTONIO BROWN SAGA CONTINUES TO TAKE WILD TWISTS THAT MAKE EVERYONE LOOK BAD
The full interview dropped later.
It was Brown’s first remarks in his own words since the incident. He released a statement through his attorney earlier in the week.
The Buccaneers released Brown on Thursday. Arians said the problem began when Brown began complaining about not being targeted enough.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown wipes his face as he leaves the field after throwing his equipment into the stands while his team is on offense during the third quarter of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Andrew Mills/NJ Advance Media via AP)
“He was very upset at halftime about who was getting targeted. Got that calmed down – players took care of that. It started again on the sideline,” Arians explained. “We had called for the personnel group that he had played [with] the entire game, he refused to go in the game. That’s when I look back and saw him basically wave off the coach. I then went back and approached him about what was going on. [He said], ‘I ain’t playing.’ [I said], ‘What’s going on?’ [and he said], ‘I ain’t getting the ball.’ That’s when I said, ‘You’re done, get the F out of here,’ and that’s the end of it.”
ANTONIO BROWN ASKED BUCS FOR $2M IN CONTRACT INCENTIVES TO BE GUARANTEED BEFORE OUTBURST, GM SAYS
Brown released a lengthy statement late Wednesday explaining that he “didn’t quit. I was cut.” He said the coaching staff was aware of his injury and he posted a text exchange with Arians talking about it.
“I know we were losing to the jets and that was frustrating for all of us. But I could not make football plays on that ankle,” Brown’s statement read. “Yes, I walked off the field. But there’s a major difference between launching from the line and taking hits, compared to jogging off the field with a rush of emotions going through your mind.”
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) and wide receiver Antonio Brown (81) celebrate a touchdown pass during the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Washington Football Team, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, in Landover, Maryland. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Brown took off his uniform before throwing his gloves and shirt in the stands at MetLife Stadium on his way to the tunnel. On his way out, he jogged off the field and jumped up and down, motioning toward the crowd before finally exiting.
The veteran wide receiver said he underwent an MRI on Monday that showed “broken bone fragments stuck in my ankle, the ligament torn from the bone, and cartilage loss.”
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
Arians finished his comments Thursday saying the team is focused on Week 18 and beyond.
“We’re working on Carolina, that’s the end of the story, and hopefully it ends today.”
Fox News’ Paulina Dedaj contributed to this report.