PITTSBURGH (AP) — Antonio Brown insists he didn’t mean to disrespect his coach or create a distraction when the All-Pro wide receiver livestreamed the raucous aftermath of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ playoff win over the Kansas City Chiefs last week.
The ever social media savvy Brown also didn’t rule out doing it again.
Even as Brown apologized for his decision to let his over 650,000 Facebook fans in on a usually private moment — one that caught head coach Mike Tomlin using a profanity to describe the New England Patriots — he played coy Wednesday when asked if he’s going to leave his camera off the next time the postgame locker room door is closed.
“I guess you’ve got to wait and see,” Brown said.
In a way it was “AB being AB,” a phrase often repeated by Brown’s teammates whenever the talented if occasionally overly exuberant star’s antics cross the line from harmless fun into something they find themselves having to explain.
The past three days fell into the latter, with Pittsburgh’s preparations for its AFC championship meeting with New England taking a back seat to Brown’s 17-minute post that forced Tomlin to opening chastise one of the league’s best players for something Brown considered innocuous.
“I wanted to give the fans an intimate experience,” Brown said.
Too intimate it turns out. The livestream violated the league’s social media policy — a policy Brown said he wasn’t aware of — and opened him to discipline from his head coach, who called Brown’s decision to hit the “live” button on his Facebook app “foolish” and “selfish.”
Not exactly how the Steelers (13-5) expected their run up to the most important game of the season to go.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger admitted he was disappointed in Brown, who will be punished internally and could face further discipline from the league, but called it “water under the bridge.”
It might be by Sunday night in Foxborough, but not yet. Brown posted an apology on his Facebook page late Tuesday night and spent 10 minutes on Wednesday explaining his actions rather than talking about ways for the Steelers to beat Tom Brady on the road for the first time.
One of only two wide receivers in league history to have four straight seasons of at least 100 receptions got caught up in the moment a year after sitting out Pittsburgh’s divisional round playoff loss to Denver due to a concussion.
“You guys don’t know what it’s like being ruled out of the game, having to wait 365 days,” Brown said. “After an emotional win, I got a little (over excited).”
Brown added he at no point “intended to put our organization on blast” and appeared chastened by Tomlin’s admonishment that Brown’s occasional forays into the “look at me” territory are symptomatic of players who find themselves moved from team to team when their act wears thin.
While Brown’s roster spot is hardly in danger, hearing the usually buttoned down Tomlin’s forceful rebuke gave Brown pause, at least to a point.
“Those words that he spoke, I didn’t take lightly,” said Brown, who called Tomlin a father figure.
“That’s a big statement coming from my head coach. I’ve got to relish in those words. Looking forward to just doing my job.”
Maybe, but Brown also considers his brand part of his job. When pressed on if he had any sort of deal with Facebook, Brown smiled and responded “top secret.”
The truth is, last week wasn’t the first time Brown has turned his phone on and turned his camera around to get a look around the locker room. He did it following a win over Miami in the wild-card round, with zero fallout.
Of course, that video didn’t catch Tomlin using an expletive to describe the Patriots and create a mini-firestorm in the process.
Brown doesn’t expect it to have any effect on his performance on Sunday, figuring the chance to get to the Super Bowl is incentive enough. Either way, he’s ready to move on.
“It’s been a tough week but nothing I can’t handle,” Brown said, later adding “It’s part of the journey … I’ve still got a lot to learn.”
NOTES: TE Ladarius Green was a limited participant in practice. Green hasn’t played since being placed in the concussion protocol following a helmet-to-helmet hit against Cincinnati in Week 15. … S Sean Davis (shoulder) did not practice while K Chris Boswell, WR Darrius Heyward-Bey and reserve C B.J. Finney were held out due to illness. … Roethlisberger and RB Le’Veon Bell both sat out to rest.
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MOUNT BALDY, Calif. (AP) — Officials say a woman is recovering after a harrowing rescue caught on tape when she slid down a snow-covered ridge while hiking in Southern California.
It happened Monday afternoon as 34-year-old Jennifer Fujita and her brother were hiking down the Devil’s Backbone Trail near the Mount Baldy summit.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department says Fujita lost her footing and slid about 50 feet down the snow-packed ridge. They say she was able to use her ice ax to stop herself from falling further.
Rescuers in a helicopter were able to reach Fujita and a fire captain, lowered 130 feet, hooked Fujita to a rescue harness.
The captain told Fujita to “hug me as tight as you can” before the two were safely lifted back into the helicopter.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — So much for Antonio Brown and the Pittsburgh Steelers keeping a low profile.
The star wide receiver filmed the postgame scene in the Steelers’ locker room on Facebook Live after an 18-16 win at Kansas City on Sunday, a video that lasted more than 17 minutes and had over 900,000 views just a few hours after it aired.
Brown talks to fans in the video, thanking them for their support while joking around with teammates, many of whom are changing out of their uniforms. The Steelers then have a team prayer, followed by coach Mike Tomlin addressing his players.
Tomlin isn’t seen in the video, but can be heard telling the Steelers that they need to start preparing for the New England Patriots and next Sunday’s matchup in the AFC championship game. He uses some expletives, including using a vulgar term to describe the Patriots.
Tomlin also tells his team to “keep a low profile.” Another member of the team is heard saying, “Keep cool on social media. This is about us, nobody else.”
All while Brown kept rolling for hundreds of thousands to see.
NFL teams are often very protective of what goes on in their locker rooms, so it’s surprising Brown chose to go live — and for that long.
About halfway into the video, the media arrives in the locker room for interviews. Brown continues to film, with a few teammates making cameos before he signs off.
For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP—NFL
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The federal appeals court in Philadelphia will soon begin posting video recordings of oral arguments on its website.
Chief Judge D. Brooks Smith of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Friday the posting of video in cases of significant interest will make the judicial process more accessible and contribute to the civics education of the public.
The 9th U.S. Circuit, headquartered in San Francisco, is the only other federal appeals court currently posting videos of oral arguments.
Lawyers in each case will be asked to recommend whether they think a video should be made public. The final decision will rest with the judges.
The court expects to post videos by the day after arguments are heard.
The 3rd Circuit considers appeals from federal courts in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and the U.S. Virgin Islands and federal agencies.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — While residents may not be reveling in the recent frosty weather, some animals seem delighted by the snow in a recent Oregon Zoo video.
The Wednesday snowfall seemed to delight Nora, the polar bear, as the video shows her rolling back and forth in the thick white powder. Two seals slide around in the slush, an otter grabs a snack in the snow—even an elephant joins in on the fun.
The video had been viewed on Facebook more than nine million times, and Oregon Zoo spokeswoman Sara Hottman said feedback has been positive.
She said locals who aren’t used to the snow love to see their community zoo animals enjoying it.
Almost a foot of snow fell in downtown Portland on Tuesday and Wednesday, making it one of the biggest snowstorms in its history.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Taliban released a video Wednesday showing an American and an Australian who were kidnapped in August, the first time they have been seen since their abduction.
The two men, an American identified as Kevin King and an Australian identified as Timothy Weekes, were abducted outside the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul, where they worked as teachers.
U.S. officials said in September that American forces had launched a rescue mission, but the captives weren’t at the raided location.
In the video, sent to media by Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, the pair appears pale and unshaven. They say they are speaking on Jan. 1. In the video, apparently delivering a message on behalf of the kidnappers, they ask U.S. President-elect Donald Trump to offer a prisoner exchange to secure their freedom.
State Department spokesman Mark Toner said U.S. authorities were studying the video and could not confirm its authenticity. He declined to comment on the case, citing privacy considerations, but he added: “Taking and holding civilian hostages is reprehensible and we condemn such actions in the strongest terms.”
Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade issued a statement saying the “Australian government has been working closely with other governments to secure the release of an Australian man kidnapped in Afghanistan in August 2016.” Citing a request for privacy from the man’s family, and “in the interests of his own safety and well-being,” Australian officials would not comment further, it said.