Antonio Brown’s in trouble again

You know those people who seem to always get in trouble? You’ve seen them throughout your life, and sometimes you feel bad for them, but you also understand that they sometimes deserve it. Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown is definitely one of those people. After the weeks-long tantrum he staged regarding the NFL prohibiting him from wearing a decade-old helmet, he’s now in trouble with his new team, but I don’t think he deserves it this time, and certainly not as severely as he’s gotten it.

Skipping training camp has become fairly commonplace for elite athletes who don’t want to unnecessarily put themselves in harm’s way, but it is still mandatory to attend. However, the financial penalties for missing it are given out at the discretion of the team. Usually, they’re not too severe, unless it gets in the way of vastly improving the player in question. Brown’s case, however, seems to be unique. The Raiders and GM Mike Mayock fined him $54,000 for him missing a few days of training camp.

This is honestly ridiculous for a number of reasons. First, Antonio Brown is the most prolific wide receiver to change teams this offseason, bringing a lot of press to the team. He shouldn’t be vilified by his team because he wants to exercise his right of self-preservation. Second, Antonio Brown is one of the NFL’s elite wide receivers and has occupied that place for a number of years. He’s not someone you’d think would need to go through training camp for “improvement purposes.” Third, he’s already been embroiled in one offseason controversy (the helmet debacle). He doesn’t need to be in one again. This seems like a big mistake by the Raiders organization to chastise their marquee acquisition by fining him an extraordinary amount of money. I know that Brown will go onto the field this Sunday and start off the season on a high in order to put all the offseason controversy behind him, but he’ll remember the negative energy he’s getting from the Raiders front office.

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