Bucs WR Antonio Brown Accused Of Obtaining Fake Vaccination Card


The Buccaneers issued the following statement regarding the report that Antonio Brown attempted to acquire a fake vaccination card: 

Ian Rapoport says he spoke with Antonio Brown’s attorney Sean Burstyn, who maintains that Brown is vaccinated.

Burstyn tells Rapoport: “Be like Antonio brown and get the vaccine.

Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports Antonio Brown‘s former live-in chef, Steven Ruiz, claims the receiver obtained a fake COVID-19 vaccination card so he could avoid NFL protocols.

Antonio Brown

Brown’s girlfriend, Cydney Moreau, told Ruiz in a text message this past July that Brown was willing to pay $500 for a Johnson & Johnson vaccination card. Ruiz says that Brown wanted Johnson & Johnson vaccine card because it consists of a single shot and would require less paperwork.

However, Stroud says that Ruiz said he was unable to get Brown a fake vaccination card. A few weeks later, Ruiz claims Brown showed him fake vaccination cards that he purchased for himself and Moreau.

Tom Brady‘s personal trainer, Alex Guerrero later stopped by Brown’s house the same night to help with Brown’s rehab from a knee injury and took a photograph of Brown’s vaccination card while he was there. The Bucs allowed Guerrero and others to take photos of cards and send them to head trainer Bobby Slater and eventually to their infection control officer.

Ruiz mentioned that he believes Guerrero was unaware that the card was fake.

Brown and Ruiz reportedly had a falling out over an uncollected debt of $10,000.

NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy tells Stroud that teams are responsible for verifying personnel and player vaccination status and are supposed to present the cards to club medical staff or the infection control officer. If a player were to use a fake card, the situation would be reviewed under the personal conduct policy and may subject the individual to discipline.

Beyond that, creating, using and/or selling such cards is a felony subject to fines and up to five years in prison.

Brown served an eight-game suspension last year for multiple violations of the league’s personal conduct policy.

The Buccaneers are one of the teams that claim to have 100 percent of their players vaccinated.

Brown previously tested positive for COVID-19 and missed Week 3’s game against the Rams. Brown ended up sitting out 10 days, which is the amount of time an unvaccinated player would.

Stroud adds that it’s unclear whether Brown ultimately got the vaccine, but Ruiz claims he tried to avoid being vaccinated over the summer.

Adam Beasley says he heard that Brown offered his vaccination card hookup to others in the NFL community, which is how rumors began to surface about Brown’s status.

Brown, 33, is a former sixth-round pick of the Steelers back in 2010. He was in the third year of his five-year, $72.71 million contract when the Steelers traded him to the Raiders back in March. 

The Raiders later signed Brown to a new contract worth $50.125 million and includes $30.125 million guaranteed. However, Oakland made the decision to release Brown before the start of the season and he later signed a one-year deal worth up to $15 million with the Patriots.

Brown lasted just 11 days in New England. The Buccaneers signed him to a one-year deal worth up to $2.5 million last year and re-signed him to another one-year extension this offseason. 

In 2021, Brown has appeared in five games and recorded 29 receptions for 418 yards (14.4 YPC) and four touchdowns. 

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