Facebook paying Antonio Brown, "encouraged" locker room video

By Alex Butler
Facebook paying Antonio Brown, "encouraged" locker room video
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger slaps hands with Antonio Brown after DeAngelo Williams scores on a 5 yard touchdown run in the 2nd quarter against the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts on January 22, 2017. The winner will move on to play the NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI in Houston Texas. Photo by John Angelillo/ UPI | License Photo

Jan. 24 (UPI) -- Those questioning why Antonio Brown would break the sacred bond NFL players share in locker rooms now have their answer.

The dollar made him do it.


The NFL Network reported Sunday that Brown has a high-dollar marketing deal with Facebook. The network says the deal is worth six-figures. Brown was fined $10,000 following the Pittsburgh Steelers' playoff victory against the Kansas City Chiefs earlier this month after posing a Facebook Live video from his team's locker room.

Brown violated the NFL and team social media policy for posting the video before reporters had completed their postgame work. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, who can be heard on the video throwing jabs at the New England Patriots, called the action "foolish and inconsiderate." Brown also apologized for the incident.

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"I let my emotions and genuine excitement get the best of me, and I wanted to share that moment with our fans," Brown said in a statement posted on his social media accounts. "It was wrong of me to do, against team and NFL policy, and I have apologized to Coach Tomlin and my teammates for my actions. I'm sorry to them for letting it become a distraction and something that they've had to answer questions about while we're preparing for a big game on Sunday."

A league source told Pro Football Talk that "Facebook actually encouraged Brown to engage in a Facebook Live session from the locker room after the game."

Facebook declined to talk to PFT about the situation. Another anonymous source told PFT that "there has been contact" between the social networking site and Brown. That source told PFT that Brown as not "directed to broadcast live from the locker room."

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The Patriots beat the Steelers 36-17 Sunday in the AFC Championship Game to advance to Super Bowl 51. After scorching secondaries in his first two playoff games this postseason, Brown managed 77 yards on seven receptions against the Patriots. He was due $8.71 million next season, on the final year of a six-year, $43 million contract, but was given a $4 million advance on his 2017 deal. He made $10.25 million in 2016.


But his tenure is Pittsburgh appears to be wearing on Tomlin and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

"He's one of the best in the business, and the plays that he makes and has made over his career are so special..." Roethlisberger said on his 93.7 FM radio show Tuesday, via TribLive. "I think sometimes that overshadows the extra stuff: the hands up, the arms up, the frustrations, the pouting, the things like that."

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Tomlin had another pointed comment regarding Brown after his Facebook Live post.

"I think that's why often times you see great players move around from team to team," Tomlin told reporters after the incident. "I definitely don't want that to be his story. I'm sure he doesn't want that to be his story, so he has to address these things that have put him and us, in time to time, in settings as such where it needs to be addressed."

Brown, 28, is a five-time Pro Bowl selection and a three-time All-Pro. He has 8,377 yards and 50 touchdowns on 632 receptions in seven seasons for the Steelers.

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