The Pittsburgh Steelers’ former franchise receiver took a Twitter swipe at the team’s new franchise receiver on Sunday.
The Steelers’ newest top wideout is not pleased, and not staying quiet.
Nearly a month after the Steelers traded seven-time Pro Bowl wideout Antonio Brown to the Oakland Raiders after a contentious few months, including his absence from the team’s season finale, Brown sparked a Twitter spat with ex-teammate Juju Smith-Schuster when commenting on a fan post on social media.
Brown had been tagged on a posted image with the header touting the 22-year-old Smith-Schuster as the Steelers’ 2018 team MVP. Brown’s Twitter response blamed Smith-Schuster for his crucial fumble late in a Week 16 loss at New Orleans, saying he “fumbled the whole post season in the biggest game of year.”
Smith-Schuster caught wind of the post and tweeted, “Keep your emotions off the internet,” followed by a series of tweets referencing Brown.
“All I ever did was show that man love and respect from the moment I got to the league,” Smith-Schuster tweeted. “I was genuinely happy for him too when he got traded to Oakland w/ a big contract, and now he takes shots at me on social media?”
Smith-Schuster continued, tweeting, “Crazy how big that ego got to be to take shots at people who show you love!”
Smith-Schuster then posted a quote from famous author Mark Twain that read, “Never argue with a fool. Onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.”
Brown, 30, and Smith-Schuster were Pittsburgh teammates for the younger wideout’s first two NFL seasons in 2017-18. Publicly, Smith-Schuster has supported Brown, but he has also voiced strong support for Brown’s former quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger. Brown and Roethlisberger reportedly had a practice dispute heading into the Steelers’ Week 17 game against Cincinnati.
That apparent argument devolved into Brown missing the Steelers’ final game, despite their playoff fates being on the line.
Surrounding his trade to Oakland in March, Brown has often referenced his problems with Roethlisberger’s leadership style. Last month, Smith-Schuster publicly backed his quarterback amid the controversy, saying, “I was so blessed to enter the league and play with a Hall of Fame QB as a 20-year old. Ben has taught me so much, he’s a true Leader and I can’t wait to rock with my guy this season.”
Brown tweeted the next day, “Do not listen to any NFL player who haven’t got paid yet! They will do and say anything to make sure they going to get paid even if it’s compromising integrity or anything ! sad but true.”
In late January, Smith-Schuster appeared on ESPN’s First Take and said the Steelers needed to limit off-field drama and distractions, comparing the team to a family of reality TV stars.
“I think everyone just needs to stop being divas,” Smith-Schuster said. “I think we need to stop being the Kardashians and just play ball.”
While the wideout wouldn’t offer names at the time when asked about which teammates he might be referring to, he said only, “I’ve learned a lot in that locker room, and I know that I would never want to be a problem to any franchise.”
“For me, personally, let’s focus on the main goal: win a Super Bowl,” Smith-Schuster said.
In his second season, Smith-Schuster finished with 111 catches for 1,426 yards and seven touchdowns, reaching his first Pro Bowl. Brown caught an NFL-high 15 touchdown passes while catching 104 passes for 1,297 yards. Brown caught 100-plus passes for an NFL-record sixth consecutive season.
—Field Level Media