Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown found himself embroiled in a messy controversy recently.
A few weeks back, Brown was accused of misrepresenting his vaccination status by using a faked COVID-19 vaccination card. Despite damning text messages and the interesting alleged role of his purported girlfriend Cydney Moreau in the proceedings, Brown seemed to maintain his innocence.
An NFL investigation into the matter apparently backed up the original accusations, and the 33-year-old was ultimately suspended for three games over his violations of the NFL-NFLPA COVID-19 protocols.
As things stand, Brown’s status with the Buccaneers going forward is very much in the air.
Unfortunately, that may not be the worst of it.
As noted by Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, there is also a legal aspect to this whole debacle that has gone unnoticed.
“Now that the NFL and NFL Players Association have jointly announced suspensions of three players for misrepresenting their vaccination status, the question becomes whether the federal government will get involved,” he reported.
“The relevant federal law imposes a punishment of up to five years in prison for buying, procuring, or using a counterfeit vaccination card, with knowledge that the card is fake. The key to the potential five-year sentence becomes the presence of the CDC label on the card.”
Brittany Renner reveals what Colin Kaepernick made her do. https://t.co/Ynujeu5kzi
— Game 7 (@game7__) December 4, 2021
Brown will serve out his current punishment during Weeks 13 through 15. If no further suspensions or legal actions come, he theoretically could return in time for his squad’s playoff run. But that is a big if at the moment.
In an NFL season marred by one legal disaster after another after another, this is obviously the last thing anyone needed right now.
Related: Is A Big Ben Simmons Trade Brewing Between 76ers, Thunder?