Childhood & Early Life
Antonio Brown was born on July 10, 1988, in Miami, Florida, to former ‘Arena Football League’ player, Eddie Brown, and Adrianne Moss. His father, who played for the ‘Albany/Indiana Firebirds,’ was voted the league’s greatest player ever.
Antonio has a younger brother named Desmond Brown, who also became a professional footballer and plays for ‘Pittsburgh Panthers.’ His parents separated in the mid-1990s after his father started playing for the ‘Albany/Indiana Firebirds.’
His mother remarried when he was 12 years old. Subsequently, he was kicked out of the house at the age of 16 as he didn't get along well with his stepfather. For about six months, he had to spend his nights at a friend's place, inside a car, or in a cheap motel.
He attended ‘Miami Norland High School’ in Miami, Florida, where he earned the 'North Athlete of the Year' title at the 2005 ‘Miami-Dade Gridiron Classic.’ However, as his academic performance suffered due to his personal issues, he missed an entry into the ‘Florida State University’ and had to take prep classes at ‘North Carolina Tech’ for a year in 2006.
After spending a season at ‘North Carolina Tech,’ he earned a scholarship to ‘Florida International University’ in Miami. However, even before he could officially join the team, he was expelled for getting into a dispute. Fortunately, he got a call from Zach Azzanni, an old acquaintance, who offered him a place at ‘Central Michigan University.’
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In 2007, Antonio Brown enrolled at ‘Central Michigan University’ as a walk-on wide receiver for their football team. Azzanni also helped him get a scholarship within a few weeks.
While coach Butch Jones was skeptical at first, he soon recognized Brown's potential and played him for 14 matches during his freshman year. He eventually went on to win the 'Mid-American Conference Freshman of the Year.'
In his sophomore year in 2008, he played in all the matches and scored a season-high two touchdown receptions against ‘Temple.’ He had a total of 93 receptions for 998 yards and seven scores during that season.
He once again achieved a season-high two touchdowns against the ‘Zips’ during his junior year and also had a season-high 13 receptions for 178 yards against ‘Troy.’ He set the records for best single-season figures of 110 receptions, 1,198 receiving yards, and nine touchdowns.
In 2010, Antonio Brown left college without completing senior year to enter the 2010 ‘NFL Draft.’ He was selected by the ‘Pittsburgh Steelers’ as their second wide receiver, and was the 22nd overall wide receiver to be selected.
He debuted in the 2010 season against the ‘Tennessee Titans.’ After his team finished first in the ‘AFC North,’ he helped his team reach the ‘Super Bowl,’ but failed to win his first ‘Super Bowl’ match against the ‘Green Bay Packers’ on February 2011.
During the 2011 season, he beat Emmanuel Sanders, Arnaz Battle, Limas Sweed, and Jerricho Cotchery to become Steelers' third wide receiver after Hines Ward and Mike Wallace. Playing 16 games that season, he made 69 receptions for 1,108 yards, two touchdown receptions, and three starts.
He had a rough season in 2012, during which he was fined $10,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct in a match against the ‘Washington Redskins.’ He also sustained ankle sprain and had to rest for three matches. He finished the season with 66 receptions for 787 yards and five touchdowns in 13 games and ten starts.
Entering the 2013 season as a starting wide receiver for the ‘Pittsburgh Steelers’ along with Emmanuel Sanders, he broke the 1997 record by Yancey Thigpen for single-season team record of 1,398 receiving yards. He also joined teammate Hines Ward to become the second Steeler to amass at least 100 receptions in a season.
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During the 2014 season, he was fined $8,200 for accidentally kicking ‘Cleveland Browns’ punter Spencer Lanning while attempting to hurdle. By the end of the season, he had made three new team records for 129 receptions, 1698 receiving yards, and 13 touchdowns.
In 2015, he entered NFL's 200 all-time receiving yards’ list with a career total of 5,587 yards, surpassing Steelers' legend Lynn Swann. During the season, he surpassed his own record with 136 receptions for 1,834 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also set two records for most receptions in a two-year and a three-year span.
During the 2016 season, he entered the ‘NFL top 100 all-time’ and ‘top 100’ for career receptions and career receiving yards respectively. By the end of the season, he became the second best player in career receptions and the third best in career receiving yards for the ‘Steelers.’
He signed a new five-year contract with ‘Steelers’ in 2017. He finished the 2017 season leading the league with 1,533 receiving yards. It was the second time in his career that he had finished a season on such a high note.
The ‘Steelers’ agreed to trade Brown to the ‘Oakland Raiders’ during the 2019 ‘NFL Draft.’ However, the ‘Raiders’ released Brown following many off-the-field incidents and a conflict with general manager Mike Mayock.
On September 7, 2019, Brown signed a one-year contract worth up to $15 million with the ‘New England Patriots.’ He also received a $9 million signing bonus. On his debut for the ‘Patriots,’ he caught four passes for 56 yards and a touchdown, contributing to his team's 43–0 win. On September 20, Brown was cut by the ‘Patriots’ following serious allegations of sexual and personal misconduct.
In 2011, Antonio Brown became the first player in ‘NFL’ history to have 1000+ receiving yards and return yards in the same season. He also became the first player with at least 125 receptions in two straight seasons (2014-15).
Antonio Brown has been selected for ‘Pro Bowl’ five times in his career, including a fourth straight selection in 2016. In 2016, he was also named ‘First Team All-Pro’ for the third consecutive time.
Personal Life & Legacy
Antonio Brown has five children. His son Antonio Brown Jr. and daughter Antanyiah were born from his relationship with a former partner. In 2011, he started a relationship with Chelsie Kyriss, with whom he has three children, Autonomy, Ali, and Apollo.
In early 2017, he was spotted with model Jenna Frumes, sparking dating rumors. However, once the rumors started to spread, he reportedly left her to be with his partner Kyriss.
After being selected by the ‘Pittsburgh Steelers’ in the 2010 ‘NFL Draft,’ he chose 84 as his jersey number. According to him, 32 (8x4) teams overlooked him before he became part of the ‘Pittsburgh Steelers.’
On March 2016, he appeared on the 22nd season of ‘ABC’ network’s dance competition show 'Dancing with the Stars.' He competed in the show with Sharna Burgess, his professional dancing partner, and reached the semifinals.
Brown also participated on the first season of the American version of ‘The Masked Singer’ on January 3, 2019, but got eliminated in the first episode.