Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger wasn’t happy that wide receiver Antonio Brown threw a tantrum on the sidelines, tossing a water cooler on the ground when a pass didn’t come his way.
After the game, Roethlisberger called him out, saying it was a distraction and calling it unfortunate. He’s standing by those comments. He thinks that’s what he had to do as a team leader, even though Brown is a superstar in his own right.
“I like to think as a leader of this team, it’s kind of my job,” Roethlisberger said, per Joe Rutter of Trib Live. “You have to be able to talk to people and communicate in different ways.”
He also noted that Brown probably wasn’t just frustrated about that one play.
“It’s probably been building up for weeks,” he said. “Some guys have that. We always have his back no matter how he reacts or what he does. I told him to stay focused and stay with it. We’re over it now. We’ve moved on to Jacksonville. Wednesday is (the start of) Jacksonville week. We don’t have time to think about anything else right now.”
Does that mean Brown’s antics won’t be a distraction this week, or could this cloud keep hanging over the team?
“Only if you let it be a distraction to you,” Roethlisberger said. “Every player has emotions and each player shows his emotions differently. It just came out. We’ve moved on from it, so it’s all behind us.”
For his part, Brown seems contrite after having a few days to mull things over and watch the reactions to his tantrum.
“Apologize for all the noise and the distractions, Steeler Nation,” he wrote on Wednesday. “Let’s stay focus [sic].”
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