Following the Pittsburgh Steelers’ victory over the Kansas City Chiefs last Sunday, All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown quickly made headlines for all the wrong reasons. During the midst of Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin’s victory speech, Brown took his iPhone out, fired up Facebook Live and began broadcasting Tomlin’s speech in real-time for all the world to see. Comically, Tomlin at one point urged his players to keep a low profile and to stay off social media while Brown and a handful of teammates were hamming it up for the camera.
While some found Brown’s antics amusing, others took a more hard-line stance and argued that Brown not only violated Tomlin’s privacy, but that he also violated an NFL league policy prohibiting players from taking to social media until post-game interviews have concluded.
An excerpt of Brown’s 17-minute Facebook Live video can be seen below.
One week removed from the event, we now have more of an idea as to why Brown thought it might be a fun idea to broadcast Tomlin’s locker room speech on the sly.
According to a report from NFL.com, Brown actually has a lucrative six-figure sponsorship deal with Facebook. What’s more, another source told NBC Sports that the social networking giant may have even encouraged Brown to film the locker room festivities as a means to drum up brand awareness.
Per a league source, Facebook actually encouraged Brown to engage in a Facebook Live session from the locker room after the game.
A Facebook spokesperson declined comment on the situation. One other source, speaking on condition of anonymity, admitted that there has been contact between Facebook and Brown but insisted that Brown was not directed to broadcast live from the locker room.
Hardly a surprise, Facebook has aggressively been trying to increase adoption of its Facebook Live feature for some time now. This past June, for example, the company inked a deal with influential media companies and celebrities like Kevin Hart and Russel Wilson to create exclusive content via Facebook Live.
As for Brown, it was revealed earlier today that he’ll be fined $10,000 for his antics.