TAMPA (WFLA) – Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown and safety Mike Edwards have each been suspended three games for misrepresenting their vaccination status under the NFL-NFLPA COVID-19 Protocol.
According to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, both players have accepted the discipline and waived their right of appeal.
Both players have been suspended without pay.
The NFL and NFLPA said in a joint statement: “The health and safety of players and personnel is our top priority. The protocols were jointly developed working with our respective experts to ensure that we are practicing and playing football as safely as possible during the ongoing pandemic. The NFL-NFLPA jointly reinforce their commitment and further emphasize the importance of strict adherence to the protocols to protect the well-being of everyone associated with the NFL.”
Brown had previously been accused of obtaining a fake COVID vaccination card by his former live in-chef, according to NBC Sports.
According to the report, Brown’s former chef — to whom he reportedly owes $10,000 — claims Brown’s girlfriend was willing to pay $500 to get a Johnson & Johnson vaccination card.
Misrepresenting the official seal of a U.S. agency — like the CDC logo on vaccine cards — could be a violation of federal law, according to the Department of Justice. Violators could face up to five years in prison or a $5,000 fine.
Eight On Your Side had previously reached out to Brown’s attorney Sean Burstyn who released a statement following the report.
“Be like Antonio Brown and get the vaccine,” Burstyn said.
In a new statement, Burstyn told WFLA that his client is vaccinated.
“Mr. Brown is vaccinated and continues to support the vaccine for any person for whom it is appropriate. The NFL made its determination and, instead of going through the drawn out and distracting process of challenging the outcome, Mr. Brown wrapped this up promptly and he will use this time as an opportunity to treat his ankle injury. Mr. Brown will be motivated, well rested, and in the best shape of his life when he returns in week 16.”
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers released a statement following the league’s announcement.
“We appreciate the league’s timely handling of this matter and recognize the importance of the health and safety protocols that have been established. We will continue to implement all league COVID-19 protocols.”