Antonio Brown throws Ben Roethlisberger under the bus, tells his side of story on LeBron's HBO show

There have been plenty of stories written about Antonio Brown and his time with the Steelers -- it's expected Pittsburgh will trade the disgruntled wide receiver at some point in the coming few weeks -- but we haven't heard Brown's side of what happened. Until Friday night anyway, when Brown appeared on LeBron James' HBO show "The Shop" and uncorked on his coach and quarterback.

Brown, who was joined by LeBron, Maverick Carter and Meek Mill, said that the Week 17 situation against the Bengals, a must-win game for the Steelers that did not feature Brown playing, was a result of Brown being hurt and Mike Tomlin telling him to "just go home" from practice. 

"So, the last week of the season, we're going into the final game," Brown explained. "We've got to win. And we've got to hope the Ravens don't win so we could advance to the playoffs.

"I'm a little banged up. So, I meet with Coach Tomlin and I'm telling him like, hey, man, I'm a little banged up. So, I'm going to need a little time to get right. So, he's like, if you're banged up, man, just, you know, you, you can just go home."

Brown continued by saying he was offended by Tomlin sending him home -- "So, I'm like ... damn, that's where we at?" -- and is bothered by the Steelers being able to "control the narrative" on his situation despite him "putting my life on the line" for the team.

"Like, you know what I mean? So, you'd think it's like, I'm going to war for these guys. Putting my life on the line, and it's like, it's an unknown when it comes to me just like right now, the write-ups. And it's like, you know what I mean? They control the narrative," Brown explained. "So, we ain't standing on people, you know what I mean, a good foundation. They could just paint you any kind of way then. And that's the thing people don't know is like, you know, it's a controlled environment to where they could, they could kind of determine if, if they want to let me eat or not."

Asked by Carter if Brown felt like he and Tomlin and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger were "on the same page," the wide receiver had an, ahem, interesting answer.

 "It's like one of those things where, it's the ego," Brown replied. "I don't have an ego because like, bro, I'm just trying to win."

It would be perfectly fair to take umbrage with the idea that Brown doesn't have an ego. (Spoiler: he has an ego. All football players have egos.) And then Brown continued by railing on Roethlisberger when discussing the game the Steelers lost to the Broncos the week before, which featured a terrible interception by Roethlisberger that the QB later pinned on Brown running a "bad route."

"Yeah, once the last game came, everybody's wanting to go home with the confusion, too much confusion, I'm like, damn, this is where they're really at," Brown said. "Because now they're showing me the reality. You know, all you have to go do is call me out, we lose the game, he's like, damn, AB should have ran a better route."

But that wasn't all Brown had to say. Asked by Carter why Roethlisberger would do something like that, Brown echoed his comments about Ben feeling like "he's the owner," blamed Ben for throwing an interception to a defensive lineman and then used some NSFW words to describe the situation.

"The type of guy he is. He feels like he's the owner. Bro, you threw the shit to the D-lineman! What the f---? I'm over here wide open! You need to give me a better ball!" Brown said. "But it's like in the league, you're going to have a guy from the team that'll be like, boy, you can't say nothing. I need you to get out there like, but it's like why I got to be acting? At least ask a … ask a [expletive] how he feels first. Right or wrong. Right? Then if it don't matter how I feel, then f--- it then, why am I here, you know what I'm saying?"

Woo boy. LeBron wanted earnest and honest conversations on "The Shop," a chance for prominent athletes to sit down in a comfortable setting and say what's on their mind. It's working! The Brown situation unfolded sort of slowly, with no one knowing for sure just how bad things had gotten when his trade demand was first reported by CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora.

Turns out things are a total disaster. The Steelers have a trade market beginning to heat up, so it was already looking extremely unlikely that Brown was going to actually end up sticking in Pittsburgh. 

But these comments by Brown on Friday night just fuel the fire for the locker room issues that have plagued the Steelers over the last few years. And it only further guarantees that Brown is going to be sent packing for the biggest haul that the Steelers can get.

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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