Former NFL wide receiver Antonio Brown has revealed what he thinks is the root of his problems — and it involves his former teammate James Harrison.
In an Instagram Live video, the former Pittsburgh Steeler All-Pro made some curious claims about the origins of his behavioral issues.
“I wanted to tell you guys that I think James Harrison gave me CTE,” Brown said. CTE stands for chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease that is often attributed to head trauma. Player suicides are often linked to CTE.
Brown and Harrison, a former All-Pro linebacker, played together for the Steelers from 2010 to 2017, with a brief respite in 2013 when Harrison was with the Cincinnati Bengals.
The claim that Harrison gave Brown CTE is a curious one on its own, but Brown proceeded to make it even weirder.
“James Harrison had an illegal helmet for over 20 years in the NFL, and he hit me one time. And ever since he hit me, I’ve been super aggressive. So blame James Harrison for my CTE.”
First, what is an “illegal helmet”? Brown didn’t make that clear at all. The NFL does periodically update its equipment protocols, which may make it illegal to wear certain helmets.
Second, Brown did not specify when or how Harrison hit him — whether it was in practice together as teammates or as opponents in 2013.
You can watch a clip of the video below:
AB: “I wanted to tell you guys that I think James Harrison gave me CTE. James Harrison had an illegal helmet for over 20 years in the NFL. And he hit me one time. And ever since he hit me I’ve been super aggressive. So blame James Harrison for my CTE.” #Steelers #NFL pic.twitter.com/JRz8eh2qZK
— Blitz Guy (@BlitzGuyOG) February 4, 2023
Again, Brown did not specify when Harrison hit him with an “illegal helmet.” But if he’s using his “super aggressive” behavior as a point of demarcation, that would suggest something happened in the 2017 season, their final year as teammates.
It was during the 2018 season that Brown’s behavior took a turn for the worse. He had largely been a model citizen before then.
There was an incident involving Brown in which he tossed furniture over a balcony.
There was a time he was charged with excessive speeding for going over 100 mph.
And that was just in the 2018 season.
That doesn’t include the absolute laundry list of controversies that followed those initial incidents.
Brown, who also played for the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, last played in an NFL game on Jan. 2, 2022, when he unceremoniously ditched the Bucs in the middle of the game.
Read More: Notorious NFL Star Antonio Brown Blames His ‘Super Aggressive’ Behavior on ‘Illegal’