Pittsburgh Steelers

Former Steeler speaks out about Antonio Brown-Ben Roethlisberger controversy

JACKSONVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 18: Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Antonio Brown #84 of the Pittsburgh Steelers embrace before the game (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Each day adds another layer to the ongoing circus in the Pittsburgh Steelers organization, and Saturday was no different.

Former Steelers receiver Emmanuel Sanders, who played with both Antonio Brown and Ben Roethlisberger, didn't hold back when discussing his former teammates and their drama this morning on NFL Network.

"I feel like Antonio brought it on himself. For you to leave on a Wednesday and have your agent call on a Sunday is the ultimate disrespect to the Pittsburgh Steelers organization. That's why Art Rooney feels the way he does," said Sanders, now the top receiver for the Denver Broncos.

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Brown showed up to the regular-season finale in a fur coat and reportedly left at halftime, and that too was frustrating for his ex-teammate and friend to see.

"Knowing AB and being my brother, he's 100 percent wrong to even do that," Sanders said. "I couldn't even come to the game and be on the sideline and looking at my brothers and knowing the playoffs are on the line."

But the finger-pointing wasn't limited to Brown as Sanders ripped Ben Roethlisberger for publicly criticizing players on his weekly radio show.


"I promise you, this situation when Big Ben said that AB has to come flat on that play (the final play against the Broncos)," Sanders explained. "This is the leader of the team and you're going to throw somebody under the bus when you could've handled that interview totally different. You didn't even have to throw Antonio Brown's name in that or even say he had to do that. You literally took pressure off of you and put that whole situation on Antonio Brown. I bet Antonio Brown is frustrated by that.

"All of that is disrespectful (publicly calling out players). I would take all of that as disrespect. I was talking to Mike Wallace about the situation and I said if Ben called me out on the radio show, the next day I would literally walk up to him in the locker room and tell him, 'Don't do that. Keep my name out of your mouth.' Even the game versus us, he threw the rookie receiver under the bus. It's like, you're the leader of this team. Be a leader."

Sanders further explained previous comments he's made about Roethlisberger.

"That's why the reason my comments, when I first became a Denver Bronco and I said that Peyton Manning is a far better leader than Ben Roethlisberger, all of that is coming to fruition. I don't lie. I don't hate anybody. I just speak the truth and that's the truth," Sanders said.