Editor’s Note: The NFL told CNNMoney on July 15, 2021, that Antonio Brown’s suspension had been lifted.
Antonio Brown is in deep trouble after he posted an Instagram image with his name written in what appeared to be a fake ID, CNN has learned.
The NFL Players Association told CNNMoney that the Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver was suspended without pay for five games on Wednesday after the post attracted media attention.
“Antonio Brown violated league rules regarding social media use, specifically rules regarding the use of government-issued photo identification,” the NFL told CNNMoney in a statement.
In the image, Brown was clutching what appeared to be a fake-identity photo ID card from the state of Maryland, according to CNNMoney.
He captioned the image “I got a clearance” and added “#FakeID.”
The NFL said that the Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters was suspended the same number of games in 2016 for a similar violation. Brown’s post was deleted within 15 minutes of it going up, according to the NFL.
“This is a violation of league policy and we are going to take appropriate action,” the NFL said.
A spokesperson for the union, which represents Brown, said that the Pittsburgh Steelers player will appeal the suspension. “The NFLPA is aware of Antonio Brown’s suspension and the player has issued a statement regarding it, which will be issued on the player’s request,” the spokesperson said.
Brown and Peters are not the only two NFL players who have been penalized for social media postings. In 2016, the league suspended Peters for the next four games for a repeat offense after violating the social media policy twice.
Peters, who was running out of license plates at the time, had “a number of items on his license plates that appeared to be invalid and fraudulent,” the NFL said at the time.
Back in 2015, the NFL suspended Peters for another four games for violating its social media policy for two incidents in five days, the league said.