There have been rumors and whispers and speculation about this since before the season started, but now we have a full-on accusation. Fake COVID vaccine cards. Woof.
Here’s the report about Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown allegedly securing a fake COVID-19 vaccination card:
EXCLUSIVE: Bucs receiver Antonio Brown obtained a fake COVID-19 vaccination card to avoid NFL protocols, according to his former live-in chef.
— Tampa Bay Times (@TB_Times) November 18, 2021
The report includes purported text screenshots where Brown’s girlfriend was arranging, at Brown’s request, to obtain a fake Johnson & Johnson card for $500. (Obligatory: the shot is free, and then they just give you the card!)
Unable to go that route, a witness in the article describes that Brown secured a fake card in some other way, which the witness saw. It’s a wild story, and would be a clear violation of the league’s protocols – which, you know, actually getting the shot was supposed to be your way around. It’s unclear whether Brown ever eventually did get the vaccine, and who else knew what was going on with his purported vax card.
Brown has been out since mid-October with an ankle injury. The Buccaneers are set to face the Giants on Monday Night Football.
The Times tried to get in touch with the Bucs, Brown, and Brown’s agent for the story, but none commented. Where this goes remains to be seen, and whether it becomes a bigger story than just Brown. Again, there have been rumors about this kind of thing going back to the start of the season, so you just wonder if anyone is going to actually get busted.
Then again, given how the league handled the Aaron Rodgers situation, I’m not sure how much they care about players being deceitful about the COVID protocols.
UPDATE: Brown’s attorney tells Ian Rapoport that Brown is currently vaccinated.