It had been a while since Antonio Brown last drew the ire of Steelers fans online, so he decided to make a splash with the latest jab at a former teammate and went after arguably the most likable, and least “divisive,” player on Pittsburgh’s roster: JuJu Smith-Schuster.
The first jab came less than two weeks ago as a result of the young wideout posting a photo on Twitter praising Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. This was posted exactly 10 days after Brown said Roethlisberger had an “owner mentality.” He also liked tweets referencing when two women in a span of about 10 months between 2009 and 2010 said they were raped by the QB, one saying it in a civil lawsuit, the other going to police. Roethlisberger wasn’t charged in the criminal investigation, in part because the victim didn’t want the case pursued, but plenty of disgusting details about his behavior that night were uncovered. The civil lawsuit was settled in 2012.
Brown had a not-so-subtle response that claimed JuJu was just pandering and that it did not reflect how Roethlisberger actually was with teammates in the locker room:
But the new Raiders player decided to take a more direct approach on Sunday. After taking time to tell his followers “Keep your emotions off the internet” and Pittsburgh fans to “move on fam buy my @Raiders jersey,” Brown had a pretty emotional reply to someone who reminded him that Smith-Schuster won team MVP last year (an award whose value is more or less that of a free sandwich at Primanti Bros.).
Jesus Christ, dude. For starters, this is a made-up team award Brown has won four times, and got it most recently the year before Smith-Schuster did. Secondly, what’s the argument here? That Steelers fans shouldn’t elevate JuJu because of the biggest mistake of the young wideout’s career? It’s fine to try and dunk on idiots online, but hitting a wildly popular star receiver with a stray is not exactly the best way to calm the Steelers fans Brown so desperately wants to “move on.” It also doesn’t help that Smith-Schuster’s reply to this whole thing was a genuine expression of disappointment that will certainly garner sympathy from anyone who doesn’t consider Brown their lifelong hero.
Brown may come out of this looking like a complete dick, but you’ve got to give him some credit. The fact that he managed to piss off his former city’s fanbase on the way to greener pastures that not many people believe will be an actual improvement means he’ll fit in quite well with the soon-to-be Las Vegas Raiders, a franchise that knows a thing or two about that sort of thing.