In response to what he felt was an inaccurate report, Steelers receiver Antonio Brown didn’t hold back on a long-time Steelers beat writer.
On Monday, veteran Steelers beat writer Ed Bouchette reported that wide receiver Antonio Brown limped off the field after doing individual work in practice. Brown was apparently not injured and fired back at Bouchette on Twitter.
Bouchette had no response to Brown, following up only with another report stating that Brown was not injured.
Mike Tomlin said the plan for Antonio Brown today was for him to do individual work and that is all. No injury aggravation
— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) August 13, 2018
Brown, however, was not finished. Clearly upset by Bouchette’s report, the star receiver tweeted this — 15 hours later.
Integrity of journalist pic.twitter.com/OyxRBPccti
— Antonio Brown (@AB84) August 14, 2018
Just before that, Brown also tweeted a quote from Tupac: “If you let a person talk long enough, you’ll hear their true intentions.”
An athlete being upset with a journalist is nothing new. Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey was just suspended for a week for a similar incident with a journalist. Reporter Phillip Heilman filmed a scuffle involving Ramsey at a Jaguars practice, and Ramsey responded with a threat over Twitter.
Why Brown felt the need to respond in the way he did is questionable. Bouchette simply reported what he saw, which was Brown limping off the field. Whether he was limping or not, the report does not hurt him or his reputation. Why is he so upset?
Bouchette has written for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for over 30 years and is a Dick McCann Award winner — awarded to writers that have made a “long and distinguished contribution to pro football through coverage.” Award winners are selected by the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA).
Perhaps Brown has a problem with Bouchette individually, likely from other incidents on top of this one. Or maybe Brown is just tired of what he feels is “inaccurate” reporting including his name and team.
Either way, it feels wrong for Brown to attack Bouchette over just a simple tweet.
Incidents like this are not new and will probably never end. Many professional athletes don’t like the roles some media members fill and eventually lash out. It may be warranted sometimes, but in this incident, Brown is in the wrong.