The wide receiver took everyone by surprise when he suddenly decided to leave the game, taking off his pads and jersey before waving to the crowd from the end zone when he headed towards the locker room.
While the reason for it isn't clear yet, his future in the NFL looks uncertain. However, as this wasn't the first time Brown was involved in a controversial episode, it has brought up to surface an extremely important topic such as mental health awareness, which was addressed by the Buccaneers quarterback.
Tom Brady opens up on mental health awareness in sports in wake of Brown's exit of Bucs game
“I don’t think anyone is living on anyone else's shoes," Brady said in his Let's Go! podcast on SiriusXM. "You don’t necessary know what other people are going through. All you do is show up to work every day, try to do your job, and you obviously recognize there's a lot of teammates in a locker room and you build relationships with those teammates. I’ve done it for a long period of time, for a lot of years. You get to know people, you really try to do everything you can to help them.
"My dad said something the other day: 'Look, all us we can do is the best we can do with the opportunities that are presented to us.' Whatever that means for different people, whether that's on the field, off the field, family life, professional life, I'm gonna try to do the best I could do with the circumstances that I'm presented before me as a person, and I try to live with integrity, I try to live with honesty, and I care about people beyond the football field as well."
Regarding Antonio Brown's departure of the Bucs road game against the Jets, Brady not only showed support to the wide receiver but has also suggested there's been a change around mental health awareness in sports. “It's a very difficult situation that everyone's dealing with and it's shown itself obviously in this example yesterday (Sunday) but it's shown itself in the Olympics with Simone Biles and she came out and she spoke quite a bit about it. It's definitely more prevalent than we used to think, you know.
“We used to think that we were just all robots out there and we'd go out there and play and it's more than that now. And I think there's a recognition of that. There's a humanity to everything that we're doing out there. It's very comforting to know that people are seeing athletes in deeper ways than just their potential on the field as well.”
Although there's still room for improvement regarding such an important matter, it's true that mental health awareness has increased in recent years. And it should continue to do so. It remains to be seen what's next for Antonio Brown, but hopefully he can get the help he needs, and then return to playing football.