(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) Antonio Brown
Antonio Brown has expressed that he would like to retire as a member of the Steelers, but here’s why Pittsburgh should not adhere to his request.
I find that I enjoy covering the Pittsburgh Steelers much more when Antonio Brown is in no way involved. For years now, we have had peace in the locker room and a mostly drama-free team focused on the big picture.
Recently, however, Brown took to social media with an informal request to retire as a member of the Steelers. He reiterated that he doesn’t wish to play for them; simply to retire with the organization.
Oh, the audacity! It was Brown who forced himself out of the city of Pittsburgh during the 2019 offseason after a laundry list of issues started to pile up. In the process, the diva wide receiver sabotaged his trade value and essentially dictated his own landing spot.
Despite being on a Hall of Fame pace with some prime years left in his career, the Steelers were able to muster just a third-round and fifth-round pick for one of the most defining receivers of this generation.
Brown couldn’t have left the team on worse terms. The turmoil he brought to this organization during his final seasons wasn’t worth the terrific play they received on the field. Lines were crossed and relationships were forever tarnished.
So when AB recently made a request to retire as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers, you would think that any response by Art Rooney II would be a no-brainer.
Because this is not an official request, the Steelers have no obligation to respond. However, if Brown does indeed attempt to bury the hatchet with his old team, ownership should slam the door in his face.
Forgiveness is a beautiful thing. At this point, I hope that neither party is still harboring bitter resentment toward the other. But just because you forgive doesn’t mean you have to be buddies again.
What sort of precedent would it set moving forward if Antonio Brown was allowed to retire as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers? This would not only be an awful example for the next generation of players to walk through the facility, but it would also be a slap in the face to Pittsburgh legends who poured their heart and soul into this team to retire the right way.
It was Brown’s me-first personality that forced him out the door in the first place. Now he wants to be honored by being part of the team that helped make him the player he became?
For future generations of Steelers, this would show them that it doesn’t matter how you treat the coaching staff, the front office, or the owner. If you’re good enough, they will welcome you back.
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Antonio Brown’s past reputation as the league’s best wide receiver should not outweigh the precedent the team must send. By no means should Brown be allowed to retire as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers.