Antonio Brown said he would play for the Albany Empire in the team’s National Arena League game on Saturday, but as it turns out, he did not suit up for the contest. Brown, who claims to be a part owner of the team, said he didn’t play because his paperwork for his physical exam did not come through in time.
According to Brown and Arena Football League commissioner Chris Siegfried, the former All-Pro wide receiver could have overridden the decision as a member of the team’s ownership. However, he apparently didn’t want to set a bad example for his team.
“There’s proper procedures you’ve got to do to play football,” Brown said, via WNYT’s Rodger Wyland. “You’ve got to pass the coach, the commissioner. You’ve got to be in physical condition. You can’t just pop up, so I’ve got to get my feet wet. We’ve got to get the proper equipment. We’ve got to do the right thing.”
Without Brown, the Empire lost to the Fayetteville Mustangs, 49-27, falling to 1-5 on the season. Despite currently being in last place, Albany has eight games left in the season, and Brown assured fans that he will play.
“But I am going to be playing. You didn’t lie,” he said, via Ryland. “Everything is going to fall in place.”
Brown’s agent has claimed the 34-year-old wideout has received interest from NFL teams but has not committed to a return. Instead, Brown has been focused on arena football, which includes trying to recruit former NFL MVP Cam Newton to play for Albany.