Even when Pittsburgh Steelers star receiver Antonio Brown loses, he really wins.
So, even though he used Facebook Live to show his coach calling the New England Patriots “assholes” in the moments after a big Steelers victory last week, facing fines and other punishment from his team and the NFL for violating the league’s social media policy, Brown might still be making a profit.
According to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, Brown has a high six-figure marketing agreement with Facebook.
In a report by Pro Football Talk, it’s been discovered that Brown’s Facebook Live session last week—which showed Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin’s profanity-laced postgame speech—was not as spontaneous as initially perceived. In fact, he reportedly was pulling double duty and padding his bank account with Mark Zuckerberg’s money.
Wrote Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio: “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.”
Here’s the infamous video:
This new information arrived the same day the Steelers were to face the Patriots for the AFC title.
Now the Steelers and the league have a bit of a predicament, because Brown, who apologized for the Live session, committed a couple infractions. Still awaiting discipline, the receiver is expected to be fined by the team for the incident, which also broke the NFL’s social media policy for posting before the completion of the media’s postgame duties.
Facebook, though, still managed to get plenty of attention for its livestreaming service, thanks to Brown.