Pittsburgh’s coach delivered a strongly worded message Tuesday in response to the brouhaha over Brown going live on Facebook from the Steelers’ locker room following the team’s 18-16 playoff win over the Kansas City Chiefs.
With Brown now facing a potential fine for violating the league’s social media policy, Tomlin on Tuesday lowered the boom on one of the league’s most talented players, calling Brown’s actions “foolish” and “selfish” and “inconsiderate” to his teammates and coaches.
“Not only is it a violation of our policy, it’s a violation of league policy. Both of which he knows,” Tomlin said. “So there’s consequences to be dealt with from his perspective. We will punish him, we won’t punish us. And we’ll do so swiftly, and we’ll do so internally.”
As opposed to cherry-picking from Tomlin’s statement, here it is in full:
“I’ll start with the elephant in the room,” Tomlin said. “I want to talk to you about the postgame video. I want to talk about it in really kind of three specific areas: First the content of the video. I’d like to say the language on the video is regrettable; language by me and by others. And it’s regrettable because this thing that is the National Football League, this platform that we have is a precious and awesome thing and not something that we take very lightly. The responsibility associated with being in this thing, just from a role-model standpoint, is something that I personally embrace. It’s something that we as a team and organization embrace, so that’s why the language — specifically in terms of the content — is regrettable. And that’s why we go to great lengths to preserve certain moments and certain interactions between us because we’re very sensitive to the opportunity that we have as role models. So I apologize for the content of the video from that perspective, as a parent, as a member of the community, I take that very seriously. And, so, I sincerely issue an apology in that regard.
“In regard to the content of the video relative to its impact on this game, or our preparation as a distraction and New England’s motivation and so forth, I have absolutely no worries regarding (that). We’re in the AFC Championship. You’re not going to creep in the backdoor of New England and win a football game and creep out of there with an AFC Championship. I’m not worried about our team’s ability to deal with the potential distractions. We have prepared for distractions as much as we have prepared for this opportunity. We realize there’s four teams working this week and there’s 28 watching. We realize there’s the same amount of television shows and radio shows that there normally is. So there’s a certain intensity that comes with being in this tournament. They gotta fill that air time with something. So we’re not concerned about that, that has no consequence on us or our preparation. Ultimately our play, we’re just going to be a team that goes up there and ready to play and play winning football as we expect them to be. So from that perspective, I have very little concern about the content of the video.
“The last element of the discussion is Antonio himself. I’ll be bluntly honest here. It was foolish of him to do that. It was selfish for him to do that. And it was inconsiderate for him to do that. Not only is it a violation of our policy, it’s a violation of league policy. Both of which he knows. So there’s consequences to be dealt with from his perspective, we will punish him, we won’t punish us. And we’ll do so swiftly, and we’ll do so internally. I’d imagine the consequences associated with the National Football League’s policy in that regard. I’m sure that he’ll appropriately absorb all of those things as he moves forward. But larger than that, he’s got to grow from this. He has to. He works extremely hard, he’s extremely talented and those get minimized with incidents such as this. You wear on your teammates when they have to routinely answer questions about things that aren’t preparation- or football-related. It’s our desire for him and everyone to be great teammates as well as great players. And he’s a great player, he’s a hard-working player, he’s respected largely in the locker room for those things, but incidents such as this don’t help him in that regard. And that’s just the reality of it. In a nutshell, that’s going to be the gist of the conversation that we have. And the reality is those things don’t apply exclusively to Antonio. It’s a global thing in regard to professional sport. I think that’s often times why you see great players move around from team to team. I definitely don’t want that to be his story. I’m sure he doesn’t want that to be his story, so he has to address these things that put him and us in position from time to time in settings such as this that need to be addressed.
“But other than that, I haven’t wasted a lot of time with it to be honest with you. I haven’t visited with him, because on Monday and Tuesday I prepare for games. I’m going to see him at some point and when I do, I’ll address it.”
My guess? Nobody employed by the Steelers will be treating the world to live-feed Facebook sessions from the locker room ever again.