Former NFL star Antonio Brown has been relatively quiet lately, not popping up on news feeds too much outside of our Jackass bracket tournament, for which he recently advanced to the Final Four. That should be considered a good thing because there hasn’t been any scandalous behavior out of AB this month. However, what Brown did get involved with earlier this month is becoming part owner of an Arena football team in the National Arena League.
The short-term attention the NAL and Albany Empire will receive might increase exposure, but this likely won’t produce any long-term gains for the brand. Brown’s father, Eddie Brown, once played for the Albany Firebirds in the Arena Football League (AF2) in the 1990s. The elder Brown played wide receiver and was inducted into the AFL Hall of Fame in 2011.
Beyond that part of this story, you have to wonder if laying down with AB will ultimately be worth it for the Empire and NAL overall. It’s not that people don’t deserve second chances, but how many second chances do you need? Brown has stayed in the news for most of the wrong reasons for several years, whether on the field or off. AB just can’t seem to get right.
Imagine working for someone who is notorious for allegedly not wanting to pay people for services rendered. He’s also been accused of sexual assault/harassment on multiple occasions. The bottom line here is that it’s hard to trust Brown. That’s what we’ve seen over the past few years. Tom Brady was seemingly his final lifeline in the NFL, and he eventually turned heel on him.
Hopefully, it’s all worth it for the NAL. It’s unfortunate, but the longer he’s with the organization, the more chance there is of the former NFL ALL-PRO going off the rails. We’ve seen it too many times already. In the NFL, he had people to answer to, and he still managed to find trouble at nearly every turn. Seeing a black athlete have ownership of a sports franchise is great, as we haven’t always received these opportunities historically. But of course, the NAL goes for the guy who will eventually act a damn fool.
Enjoy the publicity while it lasts. The NAL will likely regret this move sooner rather than later.