NFL suspends Bucs wide receiver Antonio Brown, 2 others for misrepresenting COVID vaccination status

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Antonio Brown
    Antonio Brown
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • John Franklin III
    John Franklin III
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|

The National Football League (NFL) on Thursday suspended three players —Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown and safety Mike Edwards as well as former wide receiver John Franklin III — for violating COVID-related protocols.

Why it matters: The suspensions come after the NFL reviewed allegations that the players "misrepresented their vaccination status," and ultimately concluded that all three violated league protocols.

Get market news worthy of your time with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free.

  • Brown and Edwards have been suspended for three games without pay. Franklin, a free agent, is also ineligible to play in his next three games if signed by a club.

  • The suspensions are effective immediately, and all players have accepted the discipline and waived their right of appeal, according to the league.

The backdrop: The league's investigation comes after the Tampa Bay Times reported last month that Brown had obtained a fake coronavirus vaccine card from his former live-in chef.

What they're saying: "The health and safety of players and personnel is our top priority," the NFL and NFL Players Association said in a joint statement.

  • "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."

  • "We appreciate the League's timely handling of this matter and recognize the importance of the health and safety protocols that have been established," the Buccaneers said in a statement.

  • "We will continue to implement all league COVID-19 protocols," it continued.

"Mr. Brown is vaccinated and continues to support the vaccine," Sean Burstyn, Brown's lawyer, said in a statement according to NFL Network.

  • "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," Burstyn added.

More from Axios: Sign up to get the latest market trends with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting