Antonio Brown Allegedly Obtained A Fake Vaccination Card To Avoid The NFL's Protocols

Buccaneers receiver Antonio Brown is being accused of obtaining a fake vaccination card to avoid the NFL's protocols, according to a report from the Tampa Bay Times' Rick Stroud.

Per Stroud, Brown's former personal chef, Steven Ruiz, is making the accusation. Ruiz recently had a fallout with Brown and claims that Brown owes him $10,000.

Ruiz says that over the summer, Brown asked him to get Johnson & Johnson vaccination cards for him and his girlfriend, Cydney Moreau. Moreau allegedly texted Ruiz on July 2 and said that Brown, referred to as "AB" in the messages, would pay him $500 if he got his hands on the vaccination cards.

Ruiz did not find any vaccination cards, but a few weeks later, however, Brown told Ruiz he had purchased his own. Days before the start of Buccaneers training camp, Ruiz was over at Brown's house. That's when Alex Guerrero, quarterback Tom Brady's personal trainer, arrived at Brown's house to help him recover from knee surgery.

Ruiz says that Guerrero took a photograph of Brown's vaccination card while he was there. However, Ruiz didn't believe Guerrero knew the vaccination card was fake.

Brown's lawyer, Sean Burstyn, said in a statement to Stroud that Ruiz's claims are false.

“Antonio Brown appreciates the severity of the pandemic, which is why he got the vaccine and supports everyone for whom it is advisable to get the vaccine,” Burstyn said. “Coronavirus has hit close to home as it took him out of a game. He is healthy, vaccinated, and ready to win another Super Bowl.

“One of the worst parts of the pandemic has been a movement to cast doubt on our country’s vaccination programs with baseless, vindictive tabloid gossip.”

While the Buccaneers declined Stroud’s request for comment, the team released a statement after the story was published.

“All vaccination cards were reviewed by Buccaneers personnel and no irregularities were observed,” the statement reads.

Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said before the season that the team was 100 percent vaccinated. Brown, 33, has been out of action since Week 6, recovering from an ankle injury. He also missed the Buccaneers' Week 3 matchup against the Rams after testing positive for COVID-19.

If Brown is found to have violated the protocols, he and the Buccaneers will be subject to fines. The Packers were fined $300,000, while unvaccinated quarterback Aaron Rodgers and receiver Allen Lazard were fined $14,650 each for violating the COVID-19 protocols earlier this month.

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Nick Geddes is a 2021 graduate of the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. A life-long sports enthusiast, Nick shares a passion for sports writing and is proud to represent OutKick.