Based on a new report on Thursday, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
A disturbing exclusive from Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reported that Brown received a fake vaccination card this offseason. According to a statement from Brown’s former live-in chef, the Buccaneers wide receiver allegedly obtained the fake COVID-19 vaccination card to avoid the NFL’s healthy and safety protocols.
EXCLUSIVE: Bucs receiver Antonio Brown obtained a fake COVID-19 vaccination card to avoid NFL protocols, according to his former live-in chef.
— Tampa Bay Times (@TB_Times) November 18, 2021
Los Angeles chef Steven Ruiz provided Stroud and the Tampa Bay Times with text screenshots of Brown’s girlfriend, model Cydney Moreau, asking him for fake vaccination cards for her and Brown.
Ruiz, who allegedly fell out with Brown over an unsettled debt of $10,000, reportedly explained that he was unable to acquire the cards. However, the Buccaneers wide receiver later showed the chef that he had purchased two for himself and Moreau.
“Ruiz said he was unable back in July to find a fake vaccination card for Brown, who had told those around him that he was worried about the vaccine’s potential negative effects on his body. A few weeks later, however, Ruiz said Brown showed him fake vaccination cards, which the wide receiver told Ruiz he had purchased for himself and Moreau.”
Earlier this offseason, Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians shared that his team was 100-percent vaccinated. However, the Tampa Bay Times report calls that information into question.
The NFL world devolved into chaos after Stroud’s report was revealed to the public on Thursday. Some fans and media members were shaken by the gravity of the accusation, while others weren’t as surprised given Brown’s previous off-the-field issues.
Antonio Brown could be in biiiiiiig trouble. https://t.co/9iklLMsteB
— WGR 550 (@WGR550) November 18, 2021
why doesn’t he understand that people will tell on him when he doesn’t pay them? https://t.co/x3wmF0V2DK
— bomani (@bomani_jones) November 18, 2021
it’s amazing to me that the Bucs publicly declared themselves 100p vaccinated without doing any checking of those vaccine cards… and we’ve known that teams weren’t doing anything besides taking photos of vax cards
good reporting @NFLSTROUD https://t.co/LxqYrDSPr0
— Kalyn Kahler (@kalynkahler) November 18, 2021
This guy. https://t.co/wCF9hA8LK4
— Chad Finn (@GlobeChadFinn) November 18, 2021
did anyone actually think that Antonio Brown had a real vaccination card? come on people
— Jeremy Layton (@JeremyLayt0n) November 18, 2021
Mr. Big Con https://t.co/nKgo5Yw8w1
— Sung Min Kim (@sung_minkim) November 18, 2021
The least shocking development in the world. https://t.co/nJVJQqcL2G
— Cory (@realcorykinnan) November 18, 2021
This is what happens when you don’t pay your employees well, folks. https://t.co/tKhVumf94d
— Craig Calcaterra (@craigcalcaterra) November 18, 2021
Brown’s lawyer said in a statement Thursday afternoon to the Times that his client is vaccinated. The Buccaneers did not make the wide receiver available to the Times for an interview and the 33-year-old did not respond to messages left on his phone.
Brown has been out with a foot injury that he sustained on Oct. 14 and he’s expected to make a return to the field soon.
However, if Stroud’s report is corroborated, Brown could be in for a suspension or similar punishment from the league.