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It is tempting to say this never would have happened in the locker room of the New England Patriots.
The party line is that Coach Bill Belichick has such tight control over his players that none of them would ever do anything as undisciplined and stupid as live streaming a locker room celebration.
Sure, one of Coach Belichick’s former players is currently serving time for murder, but he didn’t do it in the locker room.
In fact some clown on any of the teams in the NFL could have done what Antonio Brown did in the Steelers locker room after they beat Kansas City.
Nor is football in any way distinctive in that respect. The impulse to share video immoderately has plunged all sorts of people from junior high school to the U.S. Congress into all sorts of trouble. In the sports world, this is, as my friend Charlie Pierce might say, something about which Amos Alonzo Stagg never had to worry.
Antonio Brown’s greatest hit included his coach loudly insulting the Patriots, which has led people to hammer Brown for giving the Pats bulletin board material previous to the conference championship game. If the Pats win that game in a romp while appearing to be especially well-motivated, Brown will be blamed.
The more general objection to Brown’s broadcast follows from something coaches at all levels have been saying to their players forever: What goes on in here stays in here.
This is perhaps more important in football than in any other sport. Coaches don’t want anyone to know what they’re planning for next week’s game, of course. They also don’t want anyone to know who’s limping into the trainer’s room with an injury the coach would rather hide.
Perhaps Antonio Brown’s not-so-excellent video adventure, in which some of his teammates co-stared, will remind the millions of people who follow the NFL’s heroes that just because we all have the technology to show the world what we’re up to, it’s not necessarily a good idea. The potential consequences of one pro football player’s bad decision might have more impact on youngsters than any number of parental lectures.
On the other hand, what if the Steelers win?
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