The Albany Empire of the National Arena League does not usually attract a crowd of over 3,000, with the club's average attendance only at 2,500 fans. But last Saturday, that number nearly doubled with around 4,500 people showing up to the game between Albany and the Fayetteville Mustangs, with many expecting to see former NFL star wide receiver Antonio Brown suiting up for the Empire.
However, Antonio Brown was not there on the field to help the Empire, a team he owns, against Fayetteville. According to a report by WNYT, Brown was not able to play because the paperwork for his physical failed to get cleared on time.
Meanwhile, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk doesn't think Antonio Brown is being completely honest. For one, the league's commissioner himself said that Antonio Brown, as an owner, can play without passing physical.
“It all feels like a scam to me. So prove me wrong, AB. Show up and play in the next home game,” Florio wrote in his call out of Antonio Brown.
Antonio Brown tried to explain his decision, though.
“Stay tuned, AB’s coming. There’s proper procedures you’ve got to do to play football,” Antonio Brown said. “You’ve got to pass the coach, the commissioner. You’ve got to be in physical condition. You can’t just pop up, so I’ve got to get my feet wet. We’ve got to get the proper equipment. We’ve got to do the right thing.”
“But I am going to be playing. You didn’t lie. Everything is going to fall in place,” Brown, who last played in the NFL for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, added.
The Empire lost to the Mustangs, 49-27.