When Antonio Brown decided to livestream from the Steelers’ locker room after their win over the Chiefs on Sunday night, you could see the inevitable backlash from a mile away. It came first from grouchy columnists, then from head coach Mike Tomlin, and now Brown has completed the cycle by issuing an apology for creating a Distraction.
Before we get to Brown’s mea culpa, I want to highlight my favorite hot take on the issue, which came from Sports Illustrated’s Melissa Jacobs, who came at it from the “Millenials! Instant gratification! Facebook!” angle:
It was a telling lens into the instant gratification of social media, especially for a celebrity. I’m not sure how long Brown intended on rolling (wild guess: he didn’t have much of a game plan) but the massive viewership clearly fueled him in the moment. Anyone on social media can relate to an extent. You send out a questionable tweet that should get attention because it’s a salient point or maybe it’s incredibly obvious and will get crickets. Turns out people like it. It gets shared en masse. You feel a boost of empowerment. I mean, if random strangers think you’re poignant, obviously you are, right?
When hosting a Facebook Live, you literally see hearts traveling horizontally across the screen in real time. Therefore, Brown must have had a lovefest for the ages keeping him in his own bubble of me, myself and I.
Sounds to me like Melissa’s tweets aren’t getting all the likes and retweets she thinks they deserve. Here’s a tip for you Melissa: tweet “ow i smashed my pebis” today, and then sit back and watch the RTs roll in.
Anyway, here is Brown’s very serious and necessary apology:
Now we can begin the healing process.