Antonio Brown is the latest posterboy for the stereotypical “prima donna” wide receiver.
The Pittsburgh Steelers star reportedly got into an altercation with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in the week leading up to the team’s Week 17 matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals and elected not to practice for the remainder of the week, which led to head coach Mike Tomlin benching him.
This apparently isn’t a new attitude for Brown, though. Former Steelers safety Ryan Clark went on “SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt” on New Year’s Eve and torched his former teammate as a “me guy.”
“Not surprised that there’s beef, not surprised that there’s issues,” Clark said, via CBS Sports’ Will Brinson. “Antonio has been a guy who’s been a “me” guy, he’s been a guy that’s self-centered in a way that he’s concerned with the individual stats, how I’m being treated, I’m being perceived or portrayed. But the one person you can’t have him fighting with is Ben Roethlisberger. There are many players in that organization that Antonio Brown is above. Ben is not one of those people. For it to get to a point where he’s held out of this game, a must-win for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“When you see him on the sideline in a mink coat before the game — not Pittsburgh Steelers gear, not sideline gear, totally separate from team that lets you know that this is an issue that’s not only about today or yesterday but it’s been something that’s happening throughout the year and his career.”
“Quick story: Antonio Brown is walking past the weight room in training camp (in 2012),” Clark said, via CBS. “And right now we hear Mike Wallace has turned down his deal. Antonio is going into his third year. You hear Mike Wallace has turned down his deal. I knew already that they were going to offer Antonio. He’s walking past, and I turned to the strength coach and I said ‘if you give him money, you’re going to create a monster.’ That day at practice Antonio and I almost get into a fight because he’s saying things to Coach LeBeau. He’s screaming at Coach LeBeau, he’s screaming at us defensively. ‘Don’t touch me, I’m the franchise,’ this and that.
“Because he already had that mindset and now with success, with money, these things come.”