Antonio Brown Says He Was Fired for Not Wanting to Play Injured

Antonio Brown says his crazy departure from last week's game against the Jets wasn't what the Tampa Bay Buccaneers want you to believe.

It wasn't some crazy meltdown or mental health issue. He was FIRED . . . because he refused to play injured.

A.B. issued a statement last night saying that he had a bum ankle, and he was in contact with coach Bruce Arians and the training staff about it over the week leading up to the game.

When Brown said he couldn't play anymore, Arians had a fit. Brown says, quote, "He shouted at me, 'YOU'RE DONE!' while he ran his finger across his throat. Coach was telling me that if I didn't play hurt, then I was done with the Bucs."

Arians has denied knowing anything about the ankle, but Antonio says he's LYING.

He also says he had an MRI on Monday and it showed, quote, "broken bone fragments stuck in my ankle, the ligament torn from the bone, and cartilage loss, which are beyond painful." 

(Read Brown's full statement here.)

Brown's attorney says the team is trying to spin the situation as a mental health issue in order to, quote, "avoid responsibility for ignoring the risk of serious injury for the sake of winning a game."

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