Antonio Brown Apologizes After Threatening Violence Against ESPN Reporter


Antonio Brown has run into another social media controversy, but this one doesn’t involve FaceBook Live.

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ star receiver has come under fire for threatening an ESPN reporter on Twitter. The reporter, Jesse Washington, wrote a story published Friday at The Undefeated in which he called the receiver “an Instagram All-Pro” due to his penchant for saying more on the social media platform than he does in real life.

Brown took exception to the article and tweeted the following:

“@jessewashington wait to I see you bro we gone see what your jaw like.”

Brown deleted the tweet, but Washington had taken a screenshot of it and retweeted it to his 10,000 followers.

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That’s when the Steelers stepped in to do damage control. On Wednesday, they issued a statement through the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in which Brown apologized.

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“I made a mistake in judgment with my tweet last week, and I apologize for that,” he said. “It is not OK to threaten anyone and I need to be better spiritually and professionally. Though I do not agree with the negative parts of the story about my personal life, I need to have better control over my actions to use social media as a way to engage with my fans, rather than use it improperly.”

Washington then said that he accepted Brown’s apology after receiving it through a Steelers representative.

Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin was asked about Brown’s tweet, and it sounded like he’d rather discuss Le’Veon Bell’s ongoing holdout than talk about “social media things.” (Starts at the 24:10 mark.)

“Guys, don’t ask me about social media things,” Tomlin said. “You know, we could talk all day about things that are online or on the internet or on social media. I just choose to stay away from it because it’s a waste of my time. There’s very little accountability, there’s very little journalistic integrity, et cetera.

“Guys say things they don’t mean. I talk to my teenagers about it all the time. Let’s keep it professional and in the real. I think that’s appropriate in this setting.”

Speaking of Bell, the running back did not report to the Steelers on Wednesday, which is the day that game prep begins.

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That means he’s unlikely to play on Sunday even if there is a miracle and he reports later in the week.

Without Bell, more pressure will fall on Brown and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. The two connected on nine passes for 93 yards last week, and Brown’s 16 targets were the third most of any player in Week 1.

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Ross Kelly has been a sportswriter since 2009.
Ross Kelly has been a sportswriter since 2009 and previously worked for ESPN, CBS and STATS Inc. A native of Louisiana, Ross now resides in Houston.
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