A seemingly apologetic Antonio Brown wants Roger Goodell to backup his words with action.
The polarizing receiver spoke about multiple topics during a sit-down interview with ESPN on Friday, including the NFL commissioner’s comments that the league is more concerned with Brown’s overall well-being than his football career.
“I’ll believe it when I see it,” Brown said.
Brown was asked whether he needs mental help from the league and if he believes he has or worries about developing CTE, a brain disease that stems from blows to the head. The former Steeler, who said “we all need mental health,” took a dangerous hit from Vontaze Burfict during the 2016 playoffs that left him concussed.
“Nah, if I had CTE I wouldn’t be able to have this beautiful gym, I wouldn’t be able to be creative,” Brown said. “I wouldn’t be able to communicate. He didn’t hit me that hard. You know, I got up and walked off the field. We won the game. I was all right. You play the game long enough, everyone get hit hard.”
Symptoms of CTE include, confusion, impaired judgment, impulse control problems, aggression, depression, anxiety and suicidality, according to Boston University.
Brown has been out of the NFL since being cut by the Patriots after Week 2, amid an accusation of rape and a separate claim of sexual misconduct. Brown said he owes “the whole NFL an apology and my past behavior” and “I think I could have done a lot of things better.”
Brown, 31, has been trying to get back into the league since denying the allegations made against him by two different women.
“I feel like I never really got in a conflict with no woman,” Brown said. “I just feel like I’m a target so, anybody can come against me and say anything [that] I have to face. There’s no support, there’s no egos, there’s no rules in it, anyone can come after me for anything. No proof or whatever. ‘He said, she’s saying.’
“The media will run with it, so even if I’m not guilty, I’m already guilty because they already wrote it, put it on TV and put that in people minds. So for me to have to sit here and hear those the allegations of me is just unfair to me every time.”
The NFL’s investigation into the accusations levied against Brown is still ongoing and Brown appeared frustrated by how long it’s taken to be resolved.
“It does seem like those other cases have been decided upon a lot quicker and this has extended into, we are now days away from the Super Bowl,” he said.
Brown also attempted to show remorse for his actions, including a battle with the league over the helmet he’d be allowed wear and using social media to force his way off the Raiders and lash out over is displeasure about not being in the NFL.
Last month, he was charged with burglary with battery, burglary of an unoccupied conveyance and criminal mischief. It stemmed from an alleged assault of a moving-truck driver who was parked in front of his Hollywood, Fla., mansion. Brown, a seven-time Pro Bowler, was freed by a Florida judge from wearing an ankle monitor and being under house arrest last week.
“I was pleased to hear that after 140 days that there was some positivity about me because as of late I’ve just been the cancer of the NFL,” Brown said of Goodell’s comments about being willing to help him. “The problem child, the guy who gets in trouble, the kind of guy who has the bad narrative about him.”