Pittsburgh Steelers star wide receiver Antonio Brown called former teammate-turned-ESPN analyst Ryan Clark an “Uncle Tom” after Clark offered his take on the situation inside the Steelers’ locker room, Yahoo Sports reported.
Last week, Brown didn’t play during the Steelers’ final game after he reportedly got into a dispute with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) January 2, 2019
Brown, 30, allegedly didn’t attend the Steelers’ practice and threw a football at Roethlisberger in the dispute, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Another veteran NFL reporter, Jason La Canfora, called the incident “fairly ugly.”
Clark, meanwhile, criticized Brown for his me-first attitude, saying that Brown went on social media when coach Mike Tomlin was speaking to the team.
“This is where [head coach] Mike Tomlin has to put his foot down and shop Antonio Brown,” Clark told ESPN anchor Scott Van Pelt.
He continued: “Obviously you want to get something for him. He’s one of the best wide receivers in the league. As a matter of fact, he’s one of the best football players in the league.”
The altercation that led Antonio Brown's benching last week was with Ben Roethlisberger. Im told it was fairly ugly and the WR was totally in the wrong. He went AWOL essentially for the 3rd time this season dating back to training camp
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) December 31, 2018
On social media, according to an NFL reporter, Brown responded with “Uncle Tom,” a derogatory term used to described a black person eager to win the approval of white people.
Brown and Clark were Pittsburgh teammates from 2010 to 2013.
Clark didn’t respond to his comment directly, but he tweeted, “I have a ton of nieces and nephews that I love so much. They all call me Ryan.”
Superstar WR Antonio Brown has requested a trade from the Steelers, per our Jason La Canfora.
He added: “The rest is just the rest……. I’ll let that be. No one wins here publicity. Let’s all keep the same energy all the time. Happy New Year.”
NBC Sports, meanwhile, reported that Brown appeared to show interest in playing for the San Francisco 49ers on social media. It’s not clear what the Steelers will do with Brown, who had 15 touchdowns and 1,297 receiving years for 2018.
But the Steelers missed the playoffs after losing four of their last six games.
In the Post-Gazette report, Brown showed up at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh in the hopes he’d play against the Cincinnati Bengals for the final game following the football-throwing incident. Some players were surprised by the move, saying it was “embarrassing” for the team and “the worst I’ve seen.”
I have a ton of nieces and nephews that I love so much. They all call me Ryan. The rest is just the rest……. I’ll let that be. No one wins here publicity. Let’s all keep the same energy all the time. Happy New Year.
— Ryan Clark (@Realrclark25) January 2, 2019
Tomlin said after practice that Brown was dealing with a knee issue.
Earlier this year, Brown berated two members of the media. In April, he was also accused of throwing furniture from the 14th floor of a Florida luxury apartment complex. He was reportedly angry about $80,000 that went missing as well as a gun, the Gazette noted.
Clark, 39, played safety for the Steelers, Washington Redskins, and New York Giants for 11 seasons before retiring in 2014. In 2015, he was signed by the ESPN as an NFL analyst.