The N.F.L. on Thursday suspended the Tampa Bay Buccaneers star receiver Antonio Brown and cornerback Mike Edwards without pay for the next three games for misrepresenting their vaccination status, an egregious violation of protocols jointly agreed upon by the league and its players’ union.
A review conducted by the N.F.L. and the N.F.L. Players Association concluded that Brown and two other players, Edwards and the free-agent receiver John Franklin III, had acquired fake vaccination cards. Franklin will have to sit out three games if he is signed by a team. The Tampa Bay Times on Nov. 18 first reported that Brown had obtained the card.
“The health and safety of players and personnel is our top priority,” the league and the players’ union said in a statement together. “The protocols were jointly developed working with our respective experts to ensure that we are practicing and playing football as safely as possible during the ongoing pandemic. The N.F.L.-N.F.L.P.A. jointly reinforce their commitment and further emphasize the importance of strict adherence to the protocols to protect the well-being of everyone associated with the N.F.L.”