While a number of players on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ roster adopted something of a scorched-earth approach to Le’Veon Bell and his holdout on Wednesday, Antonio Brown took an entirely different tack when speaking to the media about his absentee teammate on Friday.
Antonio Brown on the Le'Veon Bell saga: No one wins when the family feuds pic.twitter.com/YLYtbNLbuG— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) September 7, 2018
Rather than lambaste Bell, Brown offered words of support for the team’s star running back.
“No one wins when the family feuds. At the end of the day, we’re a family and if he’s [Bell] here or he’s not, you know, we want the best for him and that’s what it’s all about. It’s not about pointing fingers and fighting amongst each other, you know, we’re a core group that should respect and love each other regardless of the situation.”
Asked if that meant Bell was still a part of the family, Brown responded.
“When he comes, he’ll be a part.”
Brown taking the role of peacemaker in the locker room is an interesting turn of events given the commotion he’s caused at times in the past with his own off-field actions and remarks. It’s also worth noting than Brown hasn’t been shy about calling Bell out for staying away from training camp in the past either, and it’s interesting to see how his attitude has softened in the wake of his teammate’s comments. For once, No. 84 is trying to dial down the drama.
Given how sensitive Bell can be to criticism, he is sure to take comfort in hearing some encouraging words from at least one member of the Steelers’ organization, although it remains to be seen if Brown will still be quite as supportive in the coming weeks if Bell’s holdout continues long into the season.