Hmm, I guess we may now know why Pittsburgh Steelers' star Antonio Brown's controversial locker room video was on Facebook Live moments after the Steelers' upset playoff win.
The All-Pro wide receiver has an endorsement deal with the social networking giant that's in the "high six-figures," according to a NFL.com report Sunday.
In case you missed it, Brown was criticized and reportedly fined for posting Steelers' head coach Mike Tomlin's profanity-laced postgame locker room victory speech on Facebook's live-streaming video feature after the team defeated the Kansas City Chiefs on Jan. 15.
Brown later apologized and said he let his "emotions and genuine excitement" get the best of him as he wanted to share the win with fans.
"It was wrong of me to do, against team and NFL policy, and I have apologized to Coach Tomlin and my teammates for my actions," Brown said on his Facebook page and his other social media accounts. "I'm sorry to them for letting it become a distraction and something that they've had to answer questions about while we're preparing for a big game on Sunday."
Turns out he may be getting paid big bucks for it. Facebook declined to comment Sunday about Brown.
Last spring, Facebook said it paid celebrities and mega pitchmen like action star Dwyane "The Rock" Johnson, comedian-actor Kevin Hart and Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps, to name a few, to promote Facebook Live when it debuted.
Meanwhile, Brown and his Steelers play Tom Brady and the New England Patriots on Sunday in the AFC Championship game on CBS. (Disclosure: CBS is the parent company of CBSInteractive, the publisher of CNET.) Last week, Brown's actions even triggered a comment from the usually coy Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. What did the admittedly non-social media savvy coach think?
"Yeah, as you know I'm not on SnapFace and all that," he said. "I don't really get those. I'm just really worried about getting our team ready to go. I'm not really too worried about what they put on InstantChat, or whatever it is."
Guess we'll have to wait and see what Brown does on -- and off the field...
|Gregory Shamus/Getty Images|
Steelers receiver who livestreamed coach's a**hole rant reportedly has 6-figure marketing deal with Facebook
Even when Pittsburgh Steelers star receiver Antonio Brown loses, he really wins.
So, even though he used Facebook Live to show his coach calling the New England Patriots "assholes" in the moments after a big Steelers victory last week, facing fines and other punishment from his team and the NFL for violating the league's social media policy, Brown might still be making a profit.
According to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, Brown has a high six-figure marketing agreement with Facebook.
In a report by Pro Football Talk, it’s been discovered that Brown’s Facebook Live session last week—which showed Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin's profanity-laced postgame speech—was not as spontaneous as initially perceived. In fact, he reportedly was pulling double duty and padding his bank account with Mark Zuckerberg’s money.
Wrote Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio: “Per a league source, Facebook actually encouraged Brown to engage in a Facebook Live session from the locker room after the game. A Facebook spokesperson declined comment on the situation. One other source, speaking on condition of anonymity, admitted that there has been contact between Facebook and Brown but insisted that Brown was not directed to broadcast live from the locker room.”
This new information arrived the same day the Steelers were to face the Patriots for the AFC title.
Now the Steelers and the league have a bit of a predicament, because Brown, who apologized for the Live session, committed a couple infractions. Still awaiting discipline, the receiver is expected to be fined by the team for the incident, which also broke the NFL’s social media policy for posting before the completion of the media's postgame duties.
Facebook, though, still managed to get plenty of attention for its livestreaming service, thanks to Brown.
The Steelers’ Antonio Brown Signs Deal With Facebook, May Explain His Crazy FB Live Post
So you know that Facebook Live stream in which the NFL wide receiver Antonio Brown showed the innards of his Pittsburgh Steelers’ team’s locker room, where coach Mike Tomlin went off during a post game rant?
Well maybe Brown wasn’t just caught up in the excitement of the win. And maybe the generous baller is going to have some extra coins to spare when the league fines him.
NFL.com reports that Brown actually has a six-figure marketing deal with Facebook, and NBC Sports reports that the tech giant actually encouraged Brown to engage in a Facebook Live session from the locker room after the game.
So now it gets a little dicey. Not only did Brown break the NFL’s social media ban until after postgame interviews are conducted, but he may have “violated the league’s broadcast deals by infringing on the exclusive rights of the networks to broadcast locker-room video and audio,” reports NFL.com.
Coach Tomlin, who was seen flipping on the New England Patriots during the Facebook Live post, last week called Brown’s actions “foolish and inconsiderate.” Brown later apologized and explained “emotions and genuine excitement” got the best of him.