Steelers receiver Antonio Brown’s ill-advised decision to broadcast live from the post-game locker room in Kansas City can no longer be chalked up to an exercise of unbridled enthusiasm.
Per a league source, Facebook actually encouraged Brown to engage in a Facebook Live session from the locker room after the game.
A Facebook spokesperson declined comment on the situation. One other source, speaking on condition of anonymity, admitted that there has been contact between Facebook and Brown but insisted that Brown was not directed to broadcast live from the locker room.
Of course, this doesn’t eliminate the reality that one or more Facebook representatives may have thrown out ideas for ways to generate more interest and bigger audiences for Brown’s Facebook Live broadcasts. Coupled with the report from NFL Media that Brown has a six-figure deal with Facebook, it would hardly be a surprise to learn that Facebook has tried to steer Brown toward strategies for using Facebook Live that would have maximum impact.
It provides another layer to Brown’s blatant violation of the league’s social-media policy, and it pulls a corporate behemoth into the middle of the potential violation of the league’s broadcast deals by infringing on the exclusive rights of the networks to broadcast locker-room video and audio.