Raiders receiver Antonio Brown apparently has some self-awareness, after all.
Brown has deleted a Monday social-media post based on a direct message from a then-18-year-old JuJu Smith-Schuster seeking advice from the then-Steelers receiver. The move quite possibly was influenced by the avalanche of criticism that Brown endured after posting the screen shot.
It doesn’t change the fact that Brown’s gesture exposed to the world the inner #mirrormirror turmoil fueling his envy of the much younger and ascending player. Brown’s inability to control his impulses gave everyone a glimpse of the jealousy that fueled his attack on his former teammate.
Making the ongoing assault against Smith-Schuster even more bizarre is the comment posted by Brown to a photo of himself and new teammate Vontaze Burfict on March 21.
“It’s funny how the NFL will make you a villain with your own teammate now!” Brown said in the comment to the picture, via Dave Dameshek of NFL.com. “Create a war within a war when basically we all on the same team; even though we wear different jerseys! Yea things happen in the field with all due respect it’s in the game! After the game there’s real life and we do have personal lives, families as real human beings! Encourage your brother do not beat them down or create a war amongst them we already fighting enough wares! Empower your peoples inspire your brother encourage someone not bind them by circumstances.”
Brown has defied pretty much every aspect of that message with his relentless attacks on Smith-Schuster and Ben Roethlisberger, two men who unlike Burfict have never headhunted Brown during a football game. It adds up to a situation that is as confusing as it is unfortunate for a player who is in the process of going from beloved to reviled in the city where he spent the first nine year of his NFL career.