Sports | November 18, 2021 6:01 pm

Antonio Brown’s Ex-Chef Accuses WR of Obtaining Fake COVID-19 Vaccine Card

Brown's former live-in chef, who also said the NFL wideout owes him $10,000, has beef with his ex-employer

Antonio Brown of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks on prior to a game
Antonio Brown of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks on prior to a game.
Mitchell Leff/Getty

In a story that should surprise no one who is remotely familiar with some of his previous alleged actions, Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown has been accused of obtaining a fake COVID-19 vaccine card by his former live-in chef.

Los Angeles chef Steven Ruiz, who claims Brown owes him $10,000 (a claim which seems plausible based on charges other chefs have levied against the NFL wideout), said he was alerted via text messages from Brown’s girlfriend Cydney Moreau that the 33-year-old was willing to pay $500 if he could get a fake Johnson & Johnson vaccination card.

Ruiz showed the text exchange to the Tampa Bay Times and told the paper Brown specifically wanted the Johnson & Johnson vaccine because it consists of a single shot and would require less paperwork.

“Ruiz said he was unable back in July to find a fake vaccination card for Brown, who had told those around him that he was worried about the vaccine’s potential negative effects on his body,” per The Times. “A few weeks later, however, Ruiz said Brown showed him fake vaccination cards, which the wide receiver told Ruiz he had purchased for himself and Moreau. They were sitting on Brown’s dining room table, Ruiz said. It was just days before the start of Bucs training camp.”

Brown’s lawyer Sean Burstyn said in a statement Thursday afternoon to the Times that his client is vaccinated.

“Antonio Brown appreciates the severity of the pandemic, which is why he got the vaccine and supports everyone for whom it is advisable to get the vaccine,” Burstyn said via text. “Coronavirus has hit close to home as it took him out of a game. He is healthy, vaccinated, and ready to win another Super Bowl. One of the worst parts of the pandemic has been a movement to cast doubt on our country’s vaccination programs with baseless, vindictive tabloid gossip.”

How the NFL will handle this situation remains to be seen, but if the discipline Brown receives, if any, is harsh, it’ll likely draw some backlash due to how to league handled Aaron Rodgers misleading the public about his vaccination status and violating the collectively bargained health and safety protocols while doing so. The difference is that the league knew Rodgers was not vaccinated (but still did nothing to punish him for clearly violating the rules).

The messed up part about Antonio Brown being accused of going through all trouble of getting a fake covid-19 vaccine card is that the Aaron Rodgers situation has already shown that the NFL doesn’t really care to seriously enforce violations of its protocols in the first place,” Michael Lee of The Washington Post pointed out on Twitter.

Brown missed one game earlier this season after testing positive for COVID-19 and is currently out with a foot injury.