Antonio Brown continues to learn the difficulties of pro sports ownership. The former NFL receiver, who recently purchased a share of an AFL team, has seen a number of key players and coaches have ties cut from the organization.
The exodus comes amid reports that the team members have not been paid. Fans online have been quick to react.
Brown recently became the owner of the Albany Empire football team, and he’s made headlines ever since. In his first public appearance after buying the majority stake, he was seen getting removed from the field by security.
That incident had nothing to do with his recent arrest warrant, or his self-announced return to the NFL, both of which have come since his team purchase.
Now, he’s reportedly run into another hiccup.
The Times Union says that a number of players, as well as the team’s head coach, are off the team. The departures come with those players alleging that they haven’t been paid for their play.
The Empire organization has not paid players or coaches since April 21, according to one of the team’s top players. Coach Damon Ware confirmed the lack of payment and said Monday that he has left the team…
The team is supposed to be paid the Friday following each week’s game; no one received direct deposits on April 28 ahead of Sunday’s game, and the team played the Carolina Cobras in Greensboro, N.C., without pay, one player said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The pay issues weren’t the only problem, though. Players also ran into a recent incident where they did not receive keys for the team’s hotel. Management says the players have been suspended for their actions on the bus ride home from their last game.
“There was an incident on the returning team bus involving the suspended players. The Albany police responded to a report of aggravated harassment at the team’s hotel.”
Included in the suspensions are the team’s top passer, top receiver, and a pair of defensive captains.
The team’s president said that the lack of payment was due to issues with the team’s payroll processor, and that checks would come Monday afternoon.
Fans were quick to react to the recent problems surrounding the Albany Empire.
One person wrote, “Hmmm, all this turmoil since when? Oh yeah, when AB arrived on the scene.”
Someone else said, “The Antonio Brown Effect… Imploding quicker than first thought.”
Things aren’t looking great for owner AB.