Jets running back Le’Veon Bell can relate to Antonio Brown.
Both Brown and Bell played on the Steelers, but became unhappy with the team during the 2018 season. Their response: Bell sat out the season, refused to sign the franchise tag, and missed practices and games, while Brown got into arguments with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and skipped practices.
Both faced backlash for their actions: Bell was criticized during his 18-month hiatus from football, while controversy followed Brown to Oakland. Both have attempted to regain control of their fates by signing with new teams. Bell joined the Jets in the offseason, and Brown made his debut with the Patriots on Sunday.
In an interview with ESPN’s Diana Russini, Bell explained his actions with the Steelers and gave advice to Brown as he faces his own controversy.
“Sometimes it’s kind of hard to overcome, like, when a lot of negative things are happening or people are saying a lot of negative things about you,” said Bell. “It’s like a snowball effect, right? Even what happened to me, when I had my suspension and things like that, I don’t ever want to get too low on myself. I hope Antonio’s doing the same thing. If I had to give him advice, that’s what I would give him.”
Bell believes that Brown is not what critics play him out to be.
“If you know AB personally, you’ll know that he’s a good person. He’s not really trying to harm anybody, you know? Maybe something he wants and he gotta go achieve it, but he might go a different way about it than other people would. But, you know, it is what it is.”
Brown’s problems have extended well beyond football. On Monday, the NFL was reportedly scheduled to meet with the woman who filed a lawsuit accusing Brown of sexually assaulting and raping her. Also Monday, Sports Illustrated released a story detailing another alleged case of sexual misconduct, domestic disturbance calls, and claims of unpaid debts involving Brown.