TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The Buccaneers have issued a statement following the report that wide receiver Antonio Brown purchased a fake COVID-19 vaccination card.
“After an extensive educational process conducted throughout our organization this past offseason highly the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccines, we received completed vaccination cards from all Tampa Bay Buccaneers players and submitted the required information to the NFL through the established process in accordance with league policy. All vaccination cards were reviewed by Buccaneers personnel and no irregularities were observed,” the Buccaneers statement said.
The statement comes after a report from the Tampa Bay Times that Brown sought and obtained a false COVID vaccination card through the help of his girlfriend and his former live-in chef. According to the report, Brown was willing to pay $500 if he could get a Johnson & Johnson vaccination card.
According to the Department of Justice, misrepresenting the official seal of a U.S. agency, like the CDC logo on vaccine cards, could be a violation of federal law. Violators could face up to five years in prison or a $5,000 fine.
Brown has had a checkered past in the NFL with the league suspending him for the first eight games of the 2020 season due to multiple violations of the league’s personal conduct policy.
On Sept. 22, 2021, the Bucs placed Brown on the reserve/COVID-19 list. He missed the Week 3 game against the Los Angeles Rams because he was still on the list.
He has not played since week 7 due to an ankle injury.