Antonio Brown’s bizarre exit draws Tom Brady’s empathy, O.J. Simpson’s scorn

Andrew Mills/AP
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A wide-ranging reaction to Antonio Brown’s bizarre departure from a Tampa Bay Buccaneers game ran the gamut from derisive scorn to concerned empathy.

Brown, the veteran receiver who has been plagued by personal issues, took off his jersey and shoulder pads and walked off the MetLife Stadium field shirtless during the third quarter while the Bucs were playing the Jets.

The odd scene blew up on social media deep into the night Sunday.

The predominant reaction early on was mostly shock and scorn. But as the day wore on, reaction to the scene started to slightly move from mockery to concern. Bucs quarterback Tom Brady took the lead when he asked for empathy for Brown’s mental well-being after the game.

Brown’s dismissal from the team was confirmed by head coach Bruce Arians after the game.

“I think everybody should … hopefully do what they can to help him in ways he really needs,” Brady said. “We all love him. We care about him deeply. We want to see him be at his best and, unfortunately, it won’t be with our team. I think everyone should be very compassionate and empathetic towards some very difficult things that are happening.”

Not everyone, of course, showed as much grace as Brady.

Pro Football Hall of Fame running back O.J. Simpson who was acquitted of double murder in 1995, posted a video on Twitter, ripping Brown for the stunt.

“For him to pull what he pulled today is completely inexcusable,” Simpson said. “The playoffs are coming up, and you pull this crap on a guy who really went on a limb for him. Total BS.”

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