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  • Anthony J. Mungin

NFL’s Star Athlete and “Million-Dollar Niggah,” Crosses the Line

Updated: Feb 5, 2022

Antonio Brown Takes Controversial Stance Against all those Buc-cing with him!

Sports has earned the reputation of being the one unifying event capable of uniting Americans regardless of race, color, or creed. Concerning the NFL, it is that arena where black men and white men put aside their differences, come together on one accord, to touch, and agree. Except that, between head coach Bruce Arians and star player Antonio Brown, there was no such coming together; rather, the quarrying of a steep, continental divide. So steep that Brown willfully risked his NFL career and Arians, his super-bowl run.

Even though Arians expressed concerns—though tongue and cheek—for Brown’s wellbeing, I suspect in reality there was no love lost between the two colliding forces. I’d even stake bets that if there was a ledge and Brown was threatening to jump, Arians would obligingly push him off.

It is fair to say that there is a mountain of blame to go around on both sides. Brown’s brash, bad-boy image; poor judgment calls; and his abrasive, and reckless nature made him the epitome of a problemed child. All are likely the reasons he has been cut from several NFL teams, the latest being the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

But Bruce Arians is also no peach! Just one look at the man, and anyone can see he is abrasive, quick-tempered, rough around the edges, and like Brown, possesses a penchant for the most explosive outbursts.

Though his cold demeanor is prevalent, his burn seems capable of disintegrating you right where you stand. Plainly, not a man of grace and poise. Apparently, neither is Arians a man blessed with the ability to appeal to his star player’s better angels. Nor does his glaring propensity for double standards do anything for his already lackluster appeal. We might do well to ask ourselves, what if Antonio Brown was a white version of Tom Brady? It doesn’t take much to assemble that even though Brown possesses equally the star power of Brady—without Brown there likely would be no 2021 Super Bowl win—Arians would never have mistreated Brady the way Brown was mistreated.

"But I wonder too if we did not just witness a little seepage of Arian’s bigoted, supremacist side. As hush-hush as it's kept, not all white males can artfully handle assertive young black men. Some yet live in the dark ages when young bucks are expected to be subservient, question nothing, have no opinions, and simply do as they are told. Anything otherwise would be an affront to white male supremacy."

I was actually going to put a lid on badmouthing law enforcement. But I could not help noticing how the inferiority and superiority complex in the NFL seems not so dissimilar from the gritty streets. How the average young black man is treated like a problem before he is treated with respect. How, in most NFL and cop circles, expressing your desire to be treated like a man could get you killed. Apparently in Brown’s case, being a man and demanding respect was likewise tantamount to a death warrant, albeit career suicide.

Antonio Brown’s latest antics and Bruce Arians' negative response is also evidentiary of a white race having yet to figure out how to properly react to troubled, young black men. Rumors are surfacing about the likelihood that Brown may be suffering from the infamous Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).

To date, CTE's classic signs—behavioral problems, mood swings, inability to think clearly, aggression—have been quite prevalent in 202 NFL players and likely visible in Brown's latest exhibitions. CTE has likewise been linked to Patriot’s tight-end, Aaron Hernandez's murder of Odin Lloyd; in Charger's linebacker, Junior Seau's suicide; and in 49-ers, cornerback, Phillip Adam’s alleged murder of six people before turning a gun onto himself.

Aside from Brown's alleged mental incapacities, one could say that he was enslaved by a profession that meant him no good. Expected to play past his pain. Counted on to maintain a stellar image despite being afflicted with CTE. Expected to never present himself as an occupational hazard. Required at all times to reflect that he served at the pleasure of the powers-that-be and never permitted a moment's confusion about who was master and who was a slave.

I cannot imagine there weren’t any preliminary clues Brown could have garnered from his ruthless, self-service agent, Drew Rosenhaus, who ultimately cut him to the quick, severing all ties. I might add, at the most critical time of his career. The most prevalent lesson being: Never fuck with the white-man's money!

I suspect when it came down to dollars and cents, Brown chose the sword upon which he wanted to die—daring to protect his million-dollar bonus; endeavoring to partake in the fruits of his labor, refusing to no longer be pimped out by rich white men who refused to share the wealth. If mean-spirited baseball owner Marge Schott was still alive, she would likely say, "those sneaky goddamn Jews [and Niggers] are all alike.”

Many in the black community applaud Brown's moment of clarity—that inopportune realization that he was just another number stenciled on the back of a Jersey. There and only there for the white man’s amusement, entertainment, his capital gains and as Marge Schott would disgustingly say, there to serve as his Million-Dollar Nigger!

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