NFL shows inconsistency against Buccaneers with COVID punishments

Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Antonio Brown (Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Antonio Brown (Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports) /

The NFL has some explaining to do to the Buccaneers.

It’s always been the Buccaneers versus everyone. Every fan in Tampa knows this. Small-market teams rarely get the appropriate level of love from the media and the NFL as a whole as they deserve, and the Bucs have done everything in their power over the past year to subvert this, good or bad.

After trudging through a season that has been an uphill battle from the start with injuries, the Buccaneers came under the microscope of the NFL several weeks back when Antonio Brown was accused of using a fake COVID-19 vaccination card.

This story seemed like it was over by now with it looking likely that it was merely a fabrication, but recent news from the league office proves otherwise. Not only has Antonio Brown been suspended for the next three games, but star safety Mike Edwards will join him.

First and foremost, these players absolutely deserve to be punished for a decision like this. Lying and fabricating a form like a vaccine card is flat-out dangerous. However, the inconsistency by the NFL on this topic is disheartening, especially when the Bucs bear the brunt of the punishment.

While Brown and Edwards serve out their suspensions, perhaps they can figure out why Aaron Rodgers was only given a small fine by the league for misrepresenting his vaccine status, the same offense that has them away from their team. Through the recent policy decisions, it seems like the NFL is more than ok with players lying to the media, but the line gets drawn at lying to the NFL itself.

Rodgers is guilty of the exact same action in this wrongdoing, yet the reigning MVP and quarterback for the best team in the league gets a slap on the wrist.

Brown probably wasn’t going to play during the next three weeks anyway, but losing Edwards will hurt. Tampa still has the talent and the depth to do well in the coming games regardless of these two positions, but this situation raises plenty of questions regarding the way these situations were handled.

Hopefully the league will be forthcoming with facts as to why this was handled differently.

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