Bruce Arians insists as to the Antonio Brown fake vaccination card claim, “There is no story”

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New Orleans Saints
Getty Images

Buccaneers receiver Antonio Brown allegedly obtained and used a fake vaccination card. Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians on Friday tried to dismiss the story, both predictably and unfortunately.

“There is no story,” Arians told Rich Eisen. “Yeah, [Brown] says he’s vaccinated and has a card, just like everybody else on our football team. There’s a trust factor that goes along with it, and we did our due diligence on everybody. The league will look into the matter and do their due diligence, but it’s really no story.”

But why do the “due diligence” is there’s a “trust factor”? This comment from Arians further confirms the notion that the Buccaneers simply looked at the vaccination card, saw nothing that looked fishy, and didn’t bother to make a phone call to confirm that Brown received the vaccine on the date represented on the card, at the place represented on the card, from the lot number represented on the card.

Eisen also asked Arians whether he called Brown into the office to discuss the situation given the report.

“No, but somebody else did,” Arian said. It’s a contention that was made more confusing by the fact that Arians said a few words later, “I’ve asked him.”

“When a guy gives me the card, I’m good with it,” Arians added. “I don’t know how this story got going, other than somebody wanted some money.”

He’s right. Someone wanted some money. More specifically, chef Steve Ruiz wanted some money that he was owed by Brown, who stiffed him out of $10,000, allegedly.

Regardless, the nonchalance when it comes to accepting vaccination cards as true and correct reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the very real temptation to falsify a card in order to secure the much more favorable protocols applicable to vaccinated players. Have players obtained fake cards? It would be shocking if they didn’t.

The situation comes down to one simple question, as addressed earlier in the day. Does the league and its teams truly care about the COVID protocols, or is it simply a matter of window dressing? It’s very easy to confirm the validity of vaccination cards. Why would Arians or any other coach or any other team blindly trust the accuracy and truthfulness of a vaccination card, when the document could be so easily forged or falsified — and when the benefits of pretending to be vaccinated are so significant?

Indeed, Arians’s admission that “there’s a trust factor” and that “when a guy gives me the card, I’m good with it” highlights the reality that the cards could indeed be falsified and that Arians and the Buccaneers inexplicably chose not to apply a natural dose of suspicion to the natural temptation for those who didn’t want to get vaccinated to lie about getting a dose, or two, of the formula.

41 responses to “Bruce Arians insists as to the Antonio Brown fake vaccination card claim, “There is no story”

  1. Arians is a moron.

    This is similar to Kareem Hunt and KC when they “believed” Hunt
    and didn’t simply call the hotel to verify Hunt’s version.

    Heck, Goodell could have called the hotel. Neither party did and that wasn’t a coincidence.

  2. “says he’s vaccinated and has a card, just like everybody else on our football team. There’s a trust factor that goes along with it“

    Ya because Antonio Brown has a stellar reputation and should be trusted.

  3. Why the constant vapors about something commonly regarded as in decline, and beyond that, poses no risk to these guys due to their age and general health to begin with?

  4. So, does this mean that everyone needs a picture ID “Covid passport”, issued by the current administration!

  5. AB’s track record makes him untrustworthy……period! Would it be a surprise if he lied about his vaccine status?

  6. Bruce is not stupid. Plus, he didn’t want AB on the team anyway.
    There is no way that he came out a day later and said this without someone in Tampa Bay’s front office verifying the vaccination card.
    If he did, then he is stupid. I just can’t see him putting his integrity and reputation on the line for Antonio Brown.

    The real story here is that Antonio Brown still doesn’t like to pay people the money he owes them. When you screw people over, they tend to try to get revenge.

  7. My problem with this tempest in a teapot is, I don’t know of any employer, outside of maybe a health care operation like a hospital, who would go through any kind of a verification process unless they had some reason to suspect the veracity of the information on the card.

    Now the Bucs and the NFL have information that would cause them to verify what’s on the card. I am assuming one or both of them will do that; apparently the NFL is taking the lead on the verification process, and the Bucs are letting them do that.

    If AB submitted a false card, he’ll be punished (how, I don’t know – that will be up to the NFL and/or the Bucs). If the information on his card checks out, then all that would remain is whether he owes his former chef some money, and if so, how much. But we’ll also have some idea of why AB might have fired the chef to begin with.

  8. Brady Is a multiple time convicted cheater and compulsive liar and has brown living with him so why isn’t he being grouped into this? You know Brady knew about this and probably did the exact same thing as brown especially with Guerrero involved. Why is Brady being protected so much? I’m sick of this

  9. Coach Arians is correct, Antonio Browns personal chef wants his 10 grand and this is the result: An accusation of Brown obtaining a fake Covid vax card.

  10. Of course he’s going to insist, when it was him who should have reviewed the card and didn’t!

  11. When it was revealed that it was the teams and not the nfl that was checking for compliance it became crystal clear that the nfl could not care less about this. Teams whose owners and or coaches care will check for veracity . Those that don’t are going to blindly and foolishly accept whatever piece of paper is given to them attesting to vaxx status. Shameful

  12. Well, when you owe the guy $10k, expect him to out you for the BS you (admittedly, to him) pull to be the fraud you are. Come to think of it, who else do we know who’s a fraud that stiffs people he owes and then has crazy stories told about him and constantly has legal problems following him around? Hmm…

  13. I fully expect the NFL to sit on it for a few days, do nothing, issues a statement Tuesday that they found no wrong-doing. Which is true, ‘cuz they didn’t actually try. And move along. They wouldn’t want to find TB12 himself passing off a fake vax card, would they?

  14. Unfortunately with Antonio Brown, he’s guilty until proven innocent. If the allegations are true, these are the type of brushing up against lines of legitimacy antics we’ve come to expect from him. He simply can never be trusted to do he right thing!

  15. The girlfriend is a piece of work. First saying the texts aren’t real. Okay. Then claiming not to know Ruiz which is clearly defensive and blatantly untrue since he ran errands for her, cooked for them, chauffeured her, lived in Brown’s house for a bit and attended football games with her. Doesn’t mean the vaccine cards are forged but lying outright first instinct isn’t a good look. I believe the Bucs said they only filed photos of the cards and didn’t verity further. So Arians going out on a limb is either foolish or he knows they did check.

  16. The NFL is taking the lead, let’s all look at this and think for a minute. If 10-20 players were found to have used fake passports what would the league do. Suspend the players, fines, coaches suspended and draft picks lost. I doubt it, they would cover this mess up because it could end up being the same story with every time. Protecting the shield is always their priority. If you let teams verify something the league should have handled they will always try to circumvent the policy if it will help them win. Maybe, just maybe Brady isn’t vaccinated after all. Many people talked about it, I didn’t believe it but now I see who was checking the cards and the team was making all the decisions on verification, so who really knows.

  17. If you trust AB so much, how about you provide him a service and send him a bill. I am sure he will pay it.

  18. Besides the vaccination point, which I assume will become known after an investigation, how totally stupid is Antonio Brown to STILL keep having payment issues with people he employs?! You would think even he would have learned a lesson by now. And why doesn’t his agent or his lawyer review every single employment relationship this guys gets involved with no matter how small. It’s rather amazing.

  19. I would not put it past Brown to do what is alleged given his history. However, the head coach isn’t the guy to do the checking but as he said, they will do their due diligence. To me, that means someone on the Bucs who is supposed to do the verification has done it, or is going to double check it. If Brown duped the team, he will get hammered. If the Bucs screwed up, they will get hammered. In the meantime, Arians is focused on what head coaches do. No point in whipping this into a real issue until it is one.

  20. I don’t know if I’ve ever done such a big turn around on a coach since he took over for the colts that one year. He seems like a blowhard who doesn’t have the attention of his team. Just keep reading about his team and each time he comes off petty on his responses.

  21. So, does this mean that everyone needs a picture ID “Covid passport”, issued by the current administration!


    No, the world needs more honest people. People that are willing to do what is necessary to end this pandemic. If people keep lying and cheating, we will never return to normal.

  22. A lot of people don’t see where all of this leads. When the hunger games begin it will be too late.

  23. Bruce Arrogant actually thinks that if he throws a few words around about this, it will make it go away. Brown, worthy of trust? Please…how stupid does Bruce think we are?

  24. How much do you want to bet that the chef isn’t paying income taxes properly? Seems like a dumb idea to bring the spotlight on you. I am guessing that the chef will change his story in exchange for > 10K. That would be delicious if it was Brady, but alas he is the golden boy. I doubt he would leave any trace of a scandal. Although maybe he needs money since he is hawking Subway where he would never eat.

  25. You would think the verification process should take no more than a couple quick phone calls. You would also think the Bucs would have told AB that they will be able to verify the card and tell if you’re lying. I think ABs lawyer said he is vaccinated and went through a drive in . My guess is when the story broke his lawyer told him to get vaccinated but when he submitted the card he was not. Truth will come out and this could possibly ending up being a major scandal around the league.

  26. easy says:
    November 20, 2021 at 7:12 am
    Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty?
    AB’s “innocent before proven guilty” ship sailed a looooong time ago.

  27. “Innocent until proven guilty” refers only to your legal status when you are charged with an actual crime. It doesn’t mean a media outlet can’t run a story about an accusation that somebody made against you. This is especially true when the accused is famous. Anybody who reads the story can decide afterwards whether they believe the accusation is truthful. They can also make a public comment about their belief.

    AB forging a vaccine card to give to his employer is a crime, but he has not been charged with one at this point. Even if AB had been charged with a crime “Innocent until proven guilty” refers ONLY to your rights within the criminal justice system.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.