Antonio Brown buys ‘Thank you, Pittsburgh’ billboard, talks ‘Steeler Nation’
Antonio Brown was officially introduced Wednesday as the newest member of the Oakland Raiders organization, but the enigmatic wide receiver appeared to still have the Pittsburgh Steelers on his mind to some extent.
Brown, who spent the first nine seasons of his outstanding career with the Steelers, reportedly footed the bill for a digital billboard located downtown that went live sometime Wednesday that read, “Thank you, Pittsburgh,” according to WPXI.
.@AB84 'Thank You Pittsburgh' billboard unveiled downtown https://t.co/VsVhfzXpdT pic.twitter.com/6mJdO4K3yN— WPXI (@WPXI) March 14, 2019
While such gestures are not uncommon when an athlete moves on to a new team, odds are Brown’s billboard won’t be as well received as other such acts of stated gratitude. After all, his disruptive conduct over the past few months to force his way out of town only served to completely alienate him from Steelers fans.
Speaking of the team’s fans, Brown discussed “Steeler Nation” during Wednesday’s introductory presser.
“Pittsburgh will always be my family,” Brown said, via the New York Post. “Those guys gave me a chance when I was a 21-year-old kid. People listen to the things that are being said and written. At the end of the day, it’s all about how you make people feel. I think I made people feel really great and really inspired the way they watched me go to work, the way they watched me play. … I know Steeler Nation is having a bad day today, but it’s always love.”
It quickly became clear that Brown and the Steelers had reached a point of no return and there was no other option for both parties but to part ways. While Brown probably had the best of intents with his billboard, “Steeler Nation” likely will not be reciprocating the same sentiments.