Antonio Brown’s indoor football team, Albany Empire, just got booted out of the National Arena League. The ex-NFL player sure knows how to make an exit.
It took Antonio Brown roughly three months to blow up his NFL career in the 2021 season. It also took him three months to blow up an indoor football team that, prior to Brown’s arrival, were the two-time defending champions of the league.
On Thursday, it was revealed that the team Brown bought back in March, Albany Empire, has been kicked out of the National Arena League. Per Pro Football Talk, the league decided to terminate Albany Empire’s membership because of the team’s “failure to pay their league-mandated and overdue assessments.”
After Brown acquired 95 percent ownership of the team in March, things started to go south. Knowing Brown’s reputation, this was likely no coincidence.
Players and staff started complaining about missed payments in late April, and the team’s head coach quit as a result. At the time, the issues were chalked up to a mix-up with the payroll processor, yet less than two months later, Albany Empire’s financial situation has only worsened.
The team was given until noon on Thursday to make a required payment to the National Arena League (each team was responsible for a portion of the league’s operating budget). No payment was submitted, and Albany Empire now finds itself league-less.
Antonio Brown gets himself exiled from yet another league
It’s a new feeling for Albany Empire’s football players, but it’s really just a deja vu experience for Brown, who infamously ripped off his shirt during a 2021 regular season game between the Bucs and Jets and smugly waved goodbye to the NFL.
The former Pittsburgh Steelers star wideout flourished in the earlier years of his career, at one point posting six consecutive Pro Bowl seasons and considered one of the most coveted receivers in the league. Now, Brown’s failed experiment with Albany Empire just serves as a head-shaking cautionary tale.
Brown recently spoke to the media about his team’s chaotic season and referred to himself in the third person. Specifically, he said he has yet to talk to “AB” about getting paid, AB being the character created by the media. He also joked that this “AB” character had three different personalities, none of which were apparently capable of handling the responsibilities that come with owning a football team.
Count that as another strike for Brown, who just blew up his second team in the span of a few years. Future organizations have been warned.