Antonio Brown believed, for some reason, that it would be a good idea to hold an open forum on Twitter and said that he’d answer 10 questions under the tag #AskAB. Mine was unfortunately not selected, and while that bums me out, it’s probably because it didn’t have anything to do with his ongoing trade request-saga with the Steelers.
He’s only replied to five as of writing this blog, but they’ve covered the following topics: his perceived selfishness, his upcoming meeting with Art Rooney II and some minor details about his decision to not play in Week 17. His most notable response, however, was the first one he gave and had to do with his soon-to-be-former quarterback: Ben Roethlisberger.
This obviously isn’t concrete evidence that Roethlisberger lacks leadership qualities, and that he’s the main reason the team’s locker room is so divided, but it does fit into some of the preconceived notions that people have about the Pittsburgh quarterback. There’s also context that makes this response more likely to be true than not. Time and time again, Roethlisberger is one of the first people to go to reporters and whine about his teammates and coaches not pulling their weight without holding himself accountable in the slightest. He carries himself like an owner who only has to answer to himself and therefore won’t face any consequences for his actions. If that’s how he is in front of cameras, one can only imagine how those conversations go in private.
Brown has already quietly made it known that he’s not exactly a fan of what his quarterback does off the football field and outside the locker room. NFL reporter Don Kleiman found that the receiver had liked tweets that mentioned Roethlisberger’s sexual assault accusations:
(Sure, the tweets were more about questioning why Colin Kaepernick still hadn’t been signed to a team, but Brown should still probably do better and read the entire tweet before hitting that heart).
The response also raises some questions about the #NewDemands tag he added at the end of his goodbye video to Pittsburgh. Were his disagreements and gripes with Roethlisberger discussed with the team’s top brass? Did he ask something be done about the quarterback and when their solution wasn’t enough, he chose to back out? We’ll probably never know for sure, but it’s hard not to speculate such things with a franchise that has essentially been an entertaining soap opera off the field for the last couple of seasons.