Does Antonio Brown Have A Problem?

Trey Morris, Staff Writer

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Have you ever wondered what being mentally ill can drive you to do?

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) constitutes the chronic brain illness seen in athletes, militia vets, and others with a past of repetitive brain trauma. In CTE, the protein called Tau forms clumps that slowly spread throughout the brain, killing brain cells. CTE has been discovered in people as young as 17, but symptoms do not normally begin appearing until years after the onset of head impacts. As the disease progresses, some patients may go through problems with thinking and memory, including memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, and eventually progressive dementia. Cognitive symptoms tend to appear later than mood symptoms, and first appear in a patient’s 40s or 50s, age-wise. Patients may display one or both symptoms clusters. In 57% of cases, symptoms worsen over time (even if the patient suffers no additional head impacts). During the other 43% of the time, symptoms will be stable for years before worsening.

On January 9, 2016, in the 2016 AFC Wild Card Game between the (10-6) Pittsburgh Steelers and the (11-5) Cincinnati Bengals, in the final twenty seconds of the game, Ben Roethlisberger overthrew his target, Antonio Brown. About a half a second later, Vontaze Burfict engaged traumatic impact to Brown with head-to-head contact. Number 84 on the Steelers was knocked out cold. That type of hit on the human brain would be categorized as a trauma induced CTE. Antonio Brown was removed from the game and Steeler Nation knew he would never be the same.

Fast forward two or three years. Antonio Brown has been labeled a locker room poison by his teammates and demands a trade. He gets traded to the Oakland Raiders and his neurological struggles start to reveal themselves. AB goes after John (JuJu) Smith-Schuster on Twitter, calling him out on his recent fumble in a very important game. This verbal attack on JuJu, literally, came out of nowhere! Antonio Brown was seen as a mentor towards Smith-Schuster, the 2-year veteran at the time.

For those of you who believe CTEs are no big deal, these NFL-employed players are becoming very vulnerable about it. They performed way harder way back when, and whatever other example is out there. I have news for you, Antonio Brown is a walking CTE exhibit. Oh,  yea,… I’m no doctor. It’s not my diagnosis, it’s the world’s diagnosis. Everybody’s thinking it, so I may as well go out and say it. The man does senseless things, one after another. CTE is the only explanation. Let’s start at the beginning of last season. Alright, so technically, Le’Veon Bell is younger than AB. We all know that. However, his maturity level, while trying to leave the messy organization that is the Pittsburgh Steelers, made him seem way wiser and professional than the veteran wideout. Antonio Brown portrays himself as an unpoised man, while still acting as a responsible parent to his three sons and daughter. Le’Veon Bell chose to sit out last season as part of the Steelers to prove he was fed up and wanted to end this chapter of his career. Clearly, this was a lead-by-example moment in the mind of Antonio Brown, as he didn’t miss a beat.