Tampa Bay Buccaneers release Antonio Brown

TAMPA BAY, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers football team announced Thursday afternoon that it had terminated Antonio Brown’s contract, releasing the wide receiver from the team.

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On Sunday, we reported when Brown took off his jersey and pads and left the field late in the third quarter of the Buccaneers’ game against the New York Jets.

In a statement posted to Twitter Thursday, the Buccaneers said, “The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have terminated the contract of Antonio Brown, effective immediately. While Antonio did receive treatment on his ankle and was listed on the injury report the week leading up to last Sunday’s game, he was cleared to play by our medical team prior to the start of the game and at no point during the game did he indicate to our medical personnel that he could not play. We have attempted, multiple times throughout this week, to schedule an evaluation by an outside orthopedic specialist, yet Antonio has not complied.”

In a statement Wednesday night, Antonio Brown said he was forced to play on an injured ankle that will require surgery, and accused the Buccaneers of mischaracterizing his outburst as a “mental health issue,” ESPN reported.

The NFL Players Association, the union which represents NFL players, told USA Today that Brown has yet to contact the union, but that the organization plans to investigate Brown’s allegations.