You Will Never Regret Firing Toxic Team Members
After a crazy incident where Tampa Bay Buccaneers NFL football player Antonio Brown left Sunday’s win over the New York Jets midgame and shirtless, head coach Bruce Arians told reporters that the veteran wide receiver is no longer with the team. “He is no longer a Buc,” Arians said after the game. “That’s the end of the story. Let’s talk about the guys who went out there and won the game.”
Brown wasn’t welcome to fly back to Tampa with the Bucs and quarterback Tom Brady, who fought hard to get the Bucs to sign Brown in the first place, asked everyone to be “compassionate and empathetic” toward him after the game.
What happened? The incident occurred late in the third quarter with the Jets leading, 24-10. Teammates Mike Evans and O.J. Howard tried to sooth an upset Brown as he took off his jersey and shoulder pads. He then threw his shirt and gloves into the stands and jogged off the field. Before exiting, Brown did some jumping jacks in the end zone and waved to the New York crowd before running into the tunnel.
The morale of the story? When someone shows you who they are, believe them. Brady’s attempt at servant leadership aside, Brown has been traded multiple times thanks to many off-the-field incidents, including issues with coaches, sexual assault, and burglary and battery claims. He was also recently suspended for three NFL games for violating the league’s Covid-19 protocols and misrepresenting his vaccination status.
Does Brown need help? Clearly, but the place to do that is not on a team where you ‘bring the whole down’ and distract others. The place to do that is on your own. Then you can return and contribute. Being on a team is not a right, it’s earned. And no team should have to put up with what Brown is dishing out.
Jill, What Can I Do? Take cues from Bucs head coach Bruce Arians. When you have someone on your team who is toxic, they need to be coached, guided, and developed. However, if they fail their development plan, terminate them (as long as they were in the right role). Your team will never be remarkable if you allow people to stay on it who do not earn their seat each and every day.