On the surface, it seems like it would be great to be a professional athlete for a team like the Pittsburgh Steelers. To make millions and gain notoriety from doing something you love seems like the ultimate life, but there is always something that comes along to spoil that notion. When some “fans” talk about the men who play for the Steelers, it comes across more like they are sitting in judgement than like a fan. They’ll say a player is greedy and not loyal to the organization, or he is a dumb pot head who doesn’t care about his career, or that he don’t care about his fans. All they see is a guy who shows up every Sunday to play a game, and who gets paid a lot of money to do so. They seem to think that he exists solely for their entertainment. They don’t seem to grasp the fact that there is more to these players than the game they play on Sunday, or that they are just people like the rest of us.
Recently, one of “these” fans publically made themselves known, when a dissatisfied woman basically stated that Antonio Brown failed to deliver on what he owed the fans, during a FREE signing event. Brown showed up late and stayed only 30 minutes. On top of that, this lady complained that AB snubbed the fans and didn’t speak to her as he was signing her item. As annoyed as this woman claims she is, she evidently had no problem remaining in line to get something FREE from Antonio. If she is so outraged over the crying and distraught children who missed out on meeting Brown, why did she remain in line to get a signature of a player who she says she no longer supports? Why didn’t she give her spot to one of those distraught and crying kids? As for Antonio Brown snubbing her and others, what was she looking for out of Brown, a full blown conversation?
Antonio Brown is not the first athlete to show up late to a signing and he for sure isn’t going to be the last, that’s just the way it is. If she truly was a fan of AB, then she would know how gracious he is, and has been with his time, when it comes to signing autographs for fans. One needs only to venture up to training camp to see him in action, both right after practice and in his dorm room, where he signed everything that was sent to him. As far as this woman being snubbed, It’s probably a safe bet that Antonio felt bad about being late, so his best bet to get as many items signed as possible, was not to indulge in conversation with everyone in line. Antonio Brown, like most other Steelers players, has a history of being generous with their time to the fans, much moreso than a lot of other teams. These players don’t owe fans anything, they do it because they enjoy the interaction.
Considering all of the obligations these players have, like their year round workouts, team and league sanctioned events, paid appearances, charity functions, and other such commitments, it’s a wonder these players find the time that they do for fans. This woman seems to assume he was late because he didn’t want to be there. She probably never considered that maybe his commitments overlapped, or that maybe his agent got the arrival time wrong, or that it was something else beyond his control. She definitely doesn’t seem to realize that it is people like her that causes many athletes to back away from doing appearances/signings like this. Remember lady, these players owe us nothing. It seems people’s sense of appreciation for getting to interact with players, back in the day, has turned into a sense of entitlement with today’s fans. No wonder some athletes will only sign for kids.
I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if AB reached out to this woman, and those who were affected by him being late, but he should not be expected to. His appearance to sign autographs was free to the public and wasn’t a team sponsored appearance, it was just something he wanted to do. If this woman is truly done supporting Antonio Brown like she publicly stated, then there is no reason she shouldn’t donate the signed jersey to a children’s charity, or maybe track down one of those traumatized kids who didn’t get to meet Antonio Brown that day, and give it to them. Chances are though, all she was really looking for was some cheap publicty.