NFL suspends Antonio Brown three games for “misrepresenting vaccination status”

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Philadelphia Eagles
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When is a non-story a story? When it’s actually a story.

Despite stubborn insistence from the Buccaneers and coach Bruce Arians that claim that receiver Antonio Brown used a fake vaccination card had no merit, the league has suspended Brown three games for misrepresenting his vaccination status.

Brown has accepted his discipline and will not appeal the fine.

Also suspended three games for misrepresenting their vaccination status were safety Mike Edward and receiver John Franklin III. The Bucs waived Franklin in August, and he currently is not with any team.

The allegations first arose two weeks ago today, with the NFL saying nothing before today about the situation other than it remains “under review.” Thursday’s announcement explains that the review included the NFL Players Association representing the three individuals, although there will be no appeal hearing. Like Brown, Edwards and Franklin have accepted their punishment.

“The health and safety of players and personnel is our top priority,” the NFL and NFLPA said in a joint statement. “The protocols were jointly development working with our respective experts to ensure that we are practicing and playing football as safety as possible during the ongoing pandemic. The NFL-NFLPA jointly reinforce their commitment and further emphasize the importance of strict adherence to the protocols to protect the well-being of everyone associated with the NFL.”

There is no story,” Arians told Rich Eisen on November 19. “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.”

There definitely is a story, even if the NFL and NFLPA have done their best to carefully craft a press release that downplays the situation. Yes, Brown “misrepresented his vaccination status.” More specifically, Brown submitted a false vaccination card in order to realize the benefits of being a vaccinated player without being a vaccinated player.

That’s a big deal. That’s the most significant violation of the COVID protocol that a player could commit, given the stark difference between treatment of vaccinated and unvaccinated players under the 2021 procedures.

Should the punishment for potentially endangering teammates and coaches (including Arians, a three-time cancer survivor, and 83-year-old offensive consultant Tom Moore) be a mere three games? Should Brown, given his history of Personal Conduct Policy violations, have gotten only three games like the other two, since the league made it clear from the get-go that this was a conduct policy issue?

Ultimately, the league and the union may have done the bare minimum here, in order to tiptoe around the inescapable next question. If three members of the Buccaneers lied about their vaccination status, how many other players on how many other teams did the same?

99 responses to “NFL suspends Antonio Brown three games for “misrepresenting vaccination status”

  1. So when is Aaron Rodgers getting suspended for not being truthful about his vaccination status, putting the health of players, coaches and fans at risk? Or is Goodell afraid to punish Rodgers?

  2. Also Aaron Rodgers was not suspended for misrepresenting his vaccine status, just because

  3. So his former cook was telling the truth about the fake vaccination card. Perhaps AB will think twice next time he tries to stiff workers he owes money to. The NFL probably would have never found out without him coming forward.

  4. So the player (AB and Mike Edwards) is punished when the team is (allegedly) unaware that they misrepresented their vaccination status but no punishment when the team is fully aware that a player (Aaron Rodgers) is misrepresenting their vaccination status?

    Got it.

  5. Wow. Can’t believe he didn’t just get a slap on the wrist. So much for the 100% vaccinated Buccaneers. How many others on the roster are actually not vaccinated?

  6. If the penalty for an infraction is not severe enough it will be contested frequently. You lie and endanger others you should be out for the rest of the year….period. Has lying become an acceptable part of our culture?

  7. And Aaron Rodgers was suspended how many games?

    It’s not the violation that bugs me, it’s the inconsistency of the punishment.

    Once again, making it up as they go along.

  8. I need to see three stories a day about this and how they were trying to kill everyone in the world just like we had for Aaron Rodgers, please.

    Also, Mike Evans was also suspended three games.

  9. Sentencing is far too light. Real deterrence involves strict penalties to violators.

  10. So the NFL doesn’t initially check if people are telling the truth or did AB get his fake card from an actual medical professional? Also while I doubt he’s the only one doing this, this is a lesson on why you don’t upset people that know your dirt (or tell others in the first place).

  11. Tom Brady liked a specific air pressure in footballs, and more-probably-than-not asked his equipment guy to make sure the PSI was the way he likes it. ***4 GAMES*** Antonio Brown, a recent serial offender of off-field conduct, commits a federal crime. ***3 GAMES*** Goodell is and always will be a clown.

  12. Just to here to see the nearly brain dead comments who think this is remotely close to what Aaron Rodgers did…

  13. “There is a trust factor that goes along with it”

    I think Bruce Arians believed AB’s vax card was legit, otherwise Arians would have known how this would end and wouldn’t of kept saying “no story”. Arians isn’t known for sticking out his neck for players who act like fools.

  14. For everyone ragging on Rodgers: This is what lying to the NFL and violating protocol looks like (Brown), as opposed to lying to reporters while keeping the NFL fully informed and following protocol (Rodgers).

  15. Calm down people, don’t forget Aaron Rodgers is white and this country has a double standard when it comes to race.

  16. Think of all the trouble he could have avoided if he just paid the money to the people he owed for services rendered…..

  17. Didn’t Rogers lie as well? Did he turn in proof of vaccination? As Yogi said ‘ might open up a whole box of Pandoras’

  18. Aaron Rodgers didn’t endanger his teammates or coaches. They knew and he followed the team protocol. He just lied and endangered the reporters postgame, so no need for discipline. 🙂

  19. Brown and Rodgers have become my fvorite players. Tyfys for placing freedom above propaganda.

  20. seriously with the people that cannot see the difference between AB and AR. I feel sorry for you guys. The League, Bucs team, players and personell did not know AB was not vaccinated. The Packers, league, teamates, coaches and all associated with the Packers knew AR was not vaccinated. AB did not follow covid protocols. AR followed all protocols except those were he was 20 ft away from vaccinated reporters. There is a difference….

  21. Pathetic how the NFL still has to pander to their players by saying they “misrepresented their vaccination status” rather than saying they lied about it or submitted fake vaccination cards. The lengths they go to in order to cover for certain things or people is sad.

  22. Ok, so this is a felony which means charges have to be executed here.

    And, next, why is Rodgers still on my tv screen if he did the same thing, albeit in a different way?

  23. The difference between Rodgers and Brown is that Rodgers never lied to the NFL. They always knew his real status. He just lied to the press and public. Brown lied to the NFL and used a fake vaccination card, which is actually a federal crime.

  24. Has Aaron Rodgers ever been suspended before? He misrepresented his status to the media, not the NFL. He didn’t fake or forge a vaccination card. He was tested daily and wore a mask at the facility except when doing interviews or on the sidelines during preseason and at a Halloween party.

    Aaron applied for a exemption from being vaccinated and was denied. The NFL knew all along of his unvaccinated status. He didn’t lie to them or forge or fake a vaccine card. Seems like a big difference to me but what do I know?

  25. Brown lives with Brady so you are telling me Brady didn’t know about this? Brady covered for him the entire time and was probably the mastermind behind the entire thing. I would bet money that Brady has a fake vaccination card too but his dad goodell would never dream of investigating that.

  26. Well gives AB’s ankle more time to heal n Evans may be more notable in being presently missed .. so come on dudes do the right n proper thing as the team needs you both for the playoffs … n lordy if #12 also fudged well sadly all bets are off going forward.

  27. Needless to say, AB is not an upstanding citizen, but it’s another thing to lie, and yet another to put your own health and career in jeopardy, especially when so much money is on the line.

  28. The difference here is Aaron Rodgers did correctly report his status to the league and team where it mattered. His misleading the public was awful but not a violation of league rules. AB did actually provide false documentation to misreport his status to league and team.

  29. If it was proven he submitted a falsified vaccination card, I believe it is a federal offense and he would be subject to punishment from the government as well.

  30. Faking a vaccine card is a felony and should be treated as such.

    As far as we know Rodgers only lied to the press and there’s no proof he presented a fake vaccine card. So the cases are slightly different, but they are both liars.

  31. AB is an habitual offender. He forced his way out of Pittsburgh and the Raiders. He hid a civil lawsuit from the Patriots. He’s been suspended multiple times. And now his actions impact the Bucs (hard to believe the Bucs didn’t play dumb on purpose here).

    Not only is his fabrication of his vaccination status in violation of NFL rules, it’s a crime. The “what about the other guy” rants on this thread are either purposely obtuse or the rantings of the ill-informed.

  32. Rodgers said he was immunized. He didn’t fake a vaccination card which carries a Government logo and is a felony.

  33. AB’s life will be a Lifetime movie someday. My crystal ball says he’ll be broke and in jail.

  34. Brown had a fake vax card….that’s why he got a higher punishment. He is lucky to not be charged with a crime.

  35. Rest that Ankle, AB.

    You come out swinging and hit the ground running just in time for the playoffs

  36. I’m sure glad AB got suspended, this Covid thing should be top priority over everything. I was ecstatic when I heard rumors of the new booster shot. We all need to get that right away. Maybe make it a Christmas present to yourself.

  37. Can’t compare this to the punishment Rodgers received. As its been pointed out numerous time here, this is a felony. Rodgers lied, breached our trust. Brown long-jumped that line.

    Whats the limit for this guy?

  38. Now you see why the team had non team personnel taking vaccine pics plausible deniability.

  39. To everyone saying “uh What about Aaron Rodgers?” Read a book, possibly a dictionary once in a while. Arron chose his words carefully, AB just flat out did something illegal.

  40. So what about this Arians…? Any insights, thoughts, or words of wisdom for us??? Where is “your” integrity now that not one, but three of your players bamboozled you, the organization and literally endangered countless folks and thus their extended families? How will you follow up?

    The NFL “must” now investigate the authenticity of everyones VAX cards… They literally have no choice. If another NFL employee is lying, and this results in health issues for another and even possibly death, the NFL will be liable beyond measure with some very deep pockets.

  41. In a perfect world they would have found this out while playing in London. That would have been fun to watch.

  42. mlhigh77 says:
    December 2, 2021 at 9:22 pm
    Gosh, the Bucs must really love AB to put up with so much.
    Well, not the Bucs organiztion, per se — but just two-yard Tommy.

  43. I’m in no way defending Brown,because he lied. I would just like to know why Aaron Rodgets didn’t receive the same punishment ,since he also lied about his vax status.

  44. With only a few people in on the Crime for AB, it’s no surprise it took awhile for the truth to come out…..For A. Rodg, though, it took 3 months into the season, and actually catching COvid for the Public to find out…and supposedly the entire Packers organization and the NFL knew?…..REALLY!!? I smell a rat.

  45. So, AB and ME get to sit out for 3 weeks and get healthy for the playoff run. Not a bad trade off.

  46. mahomie says:
    December 2, 2021 at 9:40 pm
    To everyone saying “uh What about Aaron Rodgers?” Read a book, possibly a dictionary once in a while. Arron chose his words carefully, AB just flat out did something illegal.
    This is what Rodgers’ apologists all say, but it is false!
    Aaron was asked very clearly, “Are you vaccinated?”
    The first word out of his mouth to answer the question was. . . . wait for it Packers’ fans. . . “Yeah.”

    His answer was “Yeah.” He then proceeded with all of his immunized, muddy-the-water nonsense, and how he wouldn’t judge guys that weren’t vaccinated, but his answer to the vaccine question was, “Yeah.”

    Let that squish around in your cheese curd for a while.

  47. It’ll be interested to see if he gets dragged off in handcuffs for this like the rest of us would be.

  48. thebigkuhuna says:
    December 2, 2021 at 10:57 pm
    The silence you hear is Lambeau field
    Not really. Their guy is just despicable, AB is actually criminal.

  49. jwcarlson says:
    December 2, 2021 at 4:39 pm
    I need to see three stories a day about this and how they were trying to kill everyone in the world just like we had for Aaron Rodgers, please.

    Also, Mike Evans was also suspended three games.

    The difference being the Packers and the league knew Rogers was not vaccinated – it was the media and the fans that fell victim to his misrepresentation. But then the almighty NFL deemed all his travel and mask protocol violations didn’t matter and let him off while Brown becomes more guilty because he had the nerve to lie to the NFL as well as the people. Also, Mike Evans was not suspended. Mike EDWARDS – back up safety, was suspended.

  50. Rodgers-Lied to reporters, followed NFL protocols and didn’t submit a fake vaccination card.

    Brown’s situation is no where near comparable to the Rodgers situation.

  51. Of course he accepted his “punishment”. He gets to sit out a few games and head to the playoffs well rested. Its like being sent to your room with no dinner but you’ve got your phone, the internet, XBOX and a few snacks stashed away to boot. Face-saving sentence by the NFL and NFLPA…..

  52. Maybe someone should be checking ol Tommy boys card seeing how it was his trainer checking all these out lol

  53. The whole crying over Rodgers vs. AB is quite comical. I am not taking either side here, but if you look outside the box for a second, Rodgers never claimed to have a vax card like AB, and also AB is not exactly the greatest standing of an individual from many different perspectives. To me, its just like a repeat offender: the longer the history, the more harsh the penalty. Seems to me that is the case here.

  54. Aaron never said he had the vaccine… Aaron never showed a fake card… Aaron said he was “immunized”…. im a lions fans and I’m kinda sticking up for Aaron was his religion or belief thought that he was protecting himself his way..he did suspended for a lesser charge.. know ur facts ppl..

  55. For those who don’t think the Bucs are being punished, they are now without their top two wide receivers for the next three games – and that’s despite their doing what almost any employer would do as due diligence. Further, the suspensions of Evans and the other guy also indicate the NFL’s investigation didn’t stop with AB, but it likely included every player on the roster, and some who currently are not on the roster. From this, it’s logical to infer that, had there been a shred of evidence that the Bucs colluded in this, they would have been punished even more.

    Leaving aside what happened or did not happen with Rodgers, the NFL’s resolution seems to range somewhere between “Appropriate” and “A Bit Heavy.”

  56. muttthenoob says:
    December 3, 2021 at 9:16 am
    Aaron never said he had the vaccine… Aaron never showed a fake card… Aaron said he was “immunized”…. im a lions fans and I’m kinda sticking up for Aaron was his religion or belief thought that he was protecting himself his way..he did suspended for a lesser charge.. know ur facts ppl..

    “Aaron, are you vaccinated?” was the question presented to him.

    His answer, and I quote, “Yeah.”
    Then comes his mealy-mouthed gobbledegook. But his answer to the question was, “Yeah.”

    Don’t believe me? Go listen.

  57. If the NFL looked at all the vaccine cards that were submitted I wonder how many are fake. They won’t do it because they know the truth and don’t want us to know what really is going on with their vaccine card protocol. This is what happens when any business sets a policy but allows employees to administer it. The league also looks weak with a simple 3 week suspension and watered down public statement.

  58. Wait – if AB and Edwards are supposedly out with an injury, shouldn’t their punishment begin once they are back ready to play in a game????

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