Character and Conduct Outweigh Talent

Character and Conduct Outweigh Talent


“I don’t even have to play football if I don’t want. I don’t even need the game. I don’t need to prove nothing to anyone. If they wanna play, they going to play by my rules. If not, I don’t need to play.”

                                                                                                                         -Antonio Brown

This story is what gives athletes a bad name. Antonio Brown is a complete embarrassment to the NFL, to football and to sports. The casual fan views this story and generalizes his behavior to all athletes and says, “See, athletes are just pampered ego-maniacs who feel entitled to do whatever they please.”

Here’s The Story: Antonio Brown was an undersized wide-receiver who played college ball at Central Michigan University. In 2015, Brown was drafted 195 overall pick – the 22nd of 27 wide receivers – by the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, he quickly proved himself. Many considered him as one of the top receivers in the game. As such, he was awarded with a $68 million dollar in 2017.

The Trouble Begins:  In 2018, he was paid by Facebook to create content, so he broke league policy by live-streaming locker room talks. When asked to stop, he continued with disruptive social media posts. He got into disagreements and fights with teammates. The Steelers had enough and parted ways with him in 2019. He then signed with the Oakland Raiders for $50 million. Then, Brown launched a big tirade about his helmet, refused to attend training camp and got into an on-field altercation with the Raiders general manager. Brown was out before he played one game. Within a few days he was signed by the New England Patriots for $30 million. In the next couple of days two women came out with credible allegations of rape and sexual assault. The Patriots parted ways after one game. Looks like teams didn’t want to play by “his rules”.

Nike also cancelled his contract, stating “Antonio Brown is not a Nike athlete.”

Here’s the Funny Part: In a statement on Saturday, Brown said that he “will not be playing in the NFL anymore.” Check that, the reality is the NFL will not be playing with him anymore. There is a reason that the NFL has “character” and a “conduct” clauses. It prevents teams from having to pay players millions of dollars who act like clowns and create havoc on team chemistry.

Future Predictions: Antonio Brown had the talent and the work ethic. He just didn’t have the character. He couldn’t keep it together. He became a cancer everywhere he went. As a result, he went from being paid $50 million to $30 million to $0.  My guess is Antonio Brown will be charged with sexual assault and be convicted. He will spend a couple years in prison. There is a 50% chance he never plays again in the NFL. If so, it will be 2022 for a lot less money. His reputation is forever shot and no company will pay him a single dollar to represent them.

Here’s The Lesson: Talent is important. It’s the reason that teams continued to take chances on Brown. However, character eventually outweighs talent. This is true in the pros, it is true in college and it is true in high school. Regardless of talent, any high school athlete can be removed from high school athletics. So, make sure you are making good decisions, being a good teammate and proudly representing your school. The last thing you want is parents, alumni or staff whispering about your character or your conduct.

Your Turn: What do you learn from the story of Antonio Brown?


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  1. I learned that it is important to have a good attitude always. Weather you’re the best on the team or the worst, anyone can replace you.

    1. I learned you can’t just work hard- your attitude is just as important when playing sports. Attitude and effort are the only things you can control.

    2. I learned that it is important to have a good character. Brown broke the team policy and talked to the media. Then he got in an argument with his new coach. Lastly he was accused of sexual assault. If Brown had a good character he would never have gotten released.

    3. I agree with this but also at the same time.. how many college scholarships are given out to a kind teammate. They want the good players

      1. Post

        I agree. Colleges recruit to talent. For example, Coach K gets the best recruits to come to Duke most years. However, he says no to many top recruits due to their behavior and character. When all things are equal, character will make the difference between a kid who is ranked 6 and 16. Most people want the 16 who will represent the university well and make good choices, rather than the 6 who will make poor decisions. Coaches only have so many slots per year. They try to pick out the right people to fill those slots. When they hear or see something that lets them know that they are not the “right people,” they move on.

    4. I’ve learned that talent is just one thing but you have to have a good attitude and make good decisions because it’s not all about your talent. Talent will not matter what so ever if you don’t make any good decision and taking care of yourself and actions

    1. I learned that every sport has its rules for a reason and that people who aren’t willing to abide by them may not have the right character for this particular sport. I also learned that talent can only take you so far if you don’t put it to good use.

  2. I learned several things. I learned that although talent is important, there are more important things such as trust, good decisions, and showing the world how much of a good person you are, because without this, talent doesn’t get you very far in life.

  3. I learned that it’s important to maintain a good reputation and to have good character because that is what will outweigh talent ultimately.

  4. I learned it’s all important to have a good and positive attitude because it never helps to be a downer and be all negativity. It’s a waste of energy.

  5. I learned that character outweighs talent. Yes talent is also important in sports and some people are just naturally better at things than others. Character is what really stands out and if you have a player that will fight to win, that is most important. Antonio Brown had everything he needed to be a great athlete except the attitude.

  6. I learned that you could be the best athlete in the world, but if you do not have the right attitude and actions, it’s not going to do you any good to have that talent.

  7. I think, based on this article, having a good attitude will get you a long way. He wasn’t coachable and his talent honestly didn’t matter because they won’t ask him to join anymore teams.

  8. What I learned is that don’t be stupid and make these dumb choices if you are a good athlete because you have a lot more eyes on you.

  9. I learned that your actions, personality, and overall character is greater than talent. Since Antonio Brown hasn’t been acting very mature/kindly recently, that affected him getting released by his newly signed team. He also needs to learn how to play by the coach’s rules and not his own.

  10. You always have to have a good attitude even if you are the best on your team. Anyone can replace you at any time. There is always someone out there better than you.

  11. I think that Antonio Brown is the perfect example of this because he is a star player that’s been kicked off 2 teams because of his character. Sure one of those teams might’ve needed him but they found someone with a good attitude and character which makes the team better.

  12. Even if you could be a potential star, you need to prove and make yourself a good person before awarded something athletically.

  13. I learned that no matter how talented you are, if you are not a good person, then your talent does not matter. Your talent can only take you so far, and you are doing a disservice to your team and community if you do not use the attention you get for your talent in a positive light. If you are talented enough to gain attention from others and to be a leader then you should be a good person and have good character because others will notice and follow. People make judgements about what kind of person you are by your actions rather than your talent. When talent fails or is not applicable in life, then you have nothing if you are not a good person.

  14. From Antonio Brown’s story, I learned that although you need to have the talent to succeed, you need to be a good person and be able to make the right decisions just as much. I also learned that you need to be coachable. When Antonio was with the Steelers, he would not listen to the coach and players when they asked him to not record their locker room talks. Even though, it isn’t really about being coached, it is still about respecting those who teach you.

  15. Your actions have consequences, no matter what it is it will lead to something you don’t like. It’s almost like karma, the bad stuff he did lead him to having no career in the NFL.

  16. I learned that you can be the hardest working and the most talented, but, if you don’t have a good character then you will not be very successful.

  17. I learned that you can have the most skills and smarts of the game, but if you mentally can’t do it you won’t make it in the long run. You must control your emotions and actions otherwise you can never be great.

  18. Even when you have all of the talent in the world, you need to stay humble and understand that your life wasn’t always the way it is now. If you don’t want to represent yourself in a respectful way then don’t expect people to show you respect either.

  19. I learned that it doesn’t matter how good you are at a sport. If your character is bad, your reputation as an athlete also becomes bad.

  20. I learned that rules are important but also respecting your team and team mates. Your reputation will follow you no matter how many teams you switch to.

  21. it doesn’t matter how good you are and can be. there’s a huge impact about your attitude because if you don’t have a good one it’s not going to help your team.

  22. I learned that a bad attitude can outweigh talent and hard work. I also learned that people understand that you make mistakes and some give you second chances, however you have to learn to fix your mistakes.

  23. Talent is part of a way the coaches pick there team but most is how the person acts and their attitude towards any situation. No matter how good you are ur character shows more

  24. I learned that attitude can not only affect you but affect your whole team. Always having a positive helps your team do good. Like durning a big game it is good to stay positive and keep the energy up to win!

  25. Talent is good but when you don’t have the right attitude you can’t go anywhere. And no one likes a teammate who only thinks of themselves and only cares about thereselves

  26. Even though you are good enough and you are a great athlete. Your attitude or your character can change you and it isn’t good on you or your teammates

  27. I learned that want makes a good athlete isn’t just talent or work ethic, it’s the attitude that the athletes possesses as well.

  28. I learned that ab has all the talent in the world and could have possibly been a future HofF but because he had a bad attitude he is out the league so the lesson is to also be respectful and humble and not cocky and disrespectful no matter how good you are

  29. Teams don’t just want a player, they want a serious person too. If no one on the team wants to work with you, then things aren’t going to work out.

  30. I learned that no matter the talent you also have to be respectful and humble towards yourself and your coaches. Ab has all the talent in the world but he was too cocky and disrespectful and that’s why he is out of the league right now

  31. It doesn’t matter how good you are. In the end if your toxic for a team you will be checked or you will be dismissed. It’s that simple. Coach don’t want people who they can’t control and who will hurt their teams chances of doing good.

  32. It proves that bad sportsmanship does catch up to people eventually, even if they get away with it in high school which seems to happen a lot.

  33. I learned that no matter how good you are, your actions off the field will majorly effect your playing time. This can be anything from skipping school to fighting someone in public.

  34. Skills are important, but being a good person and respecting the rules is even more important. Brown should’ve just followed the rules and he could have potentially been more successful.

  35. I learned that although skill or talent can get you places, character and being a good teammate will keep you there and push you farther.

  36. I learned that you can’t assume that you are better than everyone else. If you don’t have the right attitude or sportsmanship to play then you shouldn’t be out there on the field or court. Always listen to your coach and take their advice, or sooner or later they will cut you.

  37. I learned you should be humble with whatever life gives you. If life gives you the work ethic and the talent you should utilize that talent. Don’t be the distraction to everyone else trying to work hard, help them work hard, make them better.

  38. I learned that how you act and how you treat orher people can outweigh how good you are at what ever sport you play. Character can come over talent because coaches don’t want to deal with a player ruining their team dynamic and therefor affecting how other people are playing

  39. I learned that character outweighs talent. A person with less talent but good character will always be chosen over the person that has more talent but terrible character. I also learned that it is important to reflect on your actions so that you can learn from them, unlike what Antonio Brown did.

  40. No matter how good of an athlete you are you won’t be noticed for your skill if you do not act in a respectful way towards all people

  41. I learned that with talent comes a great responsibility and humility. When you forget why you play the game and get caught up in the craziness of the world you lose sight of the important things and become all about yourself

  42. I learned that it doesn’t matter how much talent you have because if the rest of the people on that team or organization don’t respect who you are then you will be moved.

  43. I feel like having a good attitude should be a priority all the time and the reason for his release was because of his attitude and the way he went about things

  44. Antonio Brown proves that being an athlete takes more than skill and work ethic. You have to also be a good leader and teammate to others around you. Antonio Brown had two of those theee quality’s. He was just a bad peerson in the locker room and that caused him to be out of the league.

  45. I have learned that talent may come naturally but your character and effort will show the most because those two things are the things that you can control

  46. I think that talent is important but if you are doing the wrong things and doing what ur not supposed to be doing then most likely you’ll probably not have anyone who will rlly agree with u and be a good teammate

  47. I learned that talent can only get you so far in life. Talent means nothing if you don’t have the character and attitude to use to talent to the best of your ability. Character outweighs talent and it is always most important in life and sport

  48. I learned the importance of humility and the importance of being a good person even if you’re the best player on the team. I see Antonio Brown’s actions and words made his skill irrelevant, and he became an embarrassment to the teams and companies he represented.

  49. Great character is needed to be the best player to your teammates. You may be the best in the world but attitude about it and character about whatever situation it is matters more.

  50. Antonio Brown has the potential to do great things like everyone, but with great power does come with great responsibility and that is where he feel through and that could be with any player or person.

  51. I learned that just because you have the talent does not mean you have the spirit to be a good player and person. You can’t change somebody because they don’t act a certain way. They will have to learn from themselves.

  52. I learned that attitude is very important in athletics. Many coaches value attitude over talent, and will sit a player if they have a bad attitude. The point is to treat everyone with respect and represent yourself well.

  53. I learned that no matter how talented you are, you have to maintain a good attitude. Antonio brown showed he had great talent, but his attitude was very wrong and did not match the ideal player for the nfl. You always have to be on your best game in every category, attitude,spirit, skill, competitiveness, etc.

  54. I learned that it doesn’t matter how good you are it matters about your attitude. Your coach ability. Your responsibility. Your listening skills to listen to the reals and follow them. To be polite to anybody, coaches or teammates.

  55. I learned that no matter the skill it all comes back to your character. Character is going to take you much further in life than skill. The actions of Antonio Brown made his skill worthless.

  56. When someone gives players or athletes second chances or opportunities and they waste them that is just a bad example of what to do in any profession.

  57. Antonio Brown proves that you need to stay thankful and grounded in athletics. You’re not irreplaceable. Even if you make a team or get signed, the work doesn’t stop. You never stop working to prove yourself and improve yourself. Athletics are so much more than just skill. They are equally, if not more, mentality, sportsmanship, and respect.

  58. Just as the article said, talent can only take you so far. It’s your character and sportsmanship that really define you as an athlete, not your talent or skills

  59. I learned that eventually everything comes back around and your character and attitude on things is worth more than talent. Because he thought he was better than everyone and entitled and wanted to play by his own rules, he eventually was not wanted on any NFL team even though he was on of the best.

  60. I learned that character outweighs talent in a person. The best athlete in the world would be absolutely nothing if they were mean and uncoachable

  61. Without a good attitude and the effort to support your talent, you have nothing as an athlete. Antonio Brown ruined his career because he had negative behavior and a bad attitude. It gives a lesson in itself. He was a good player and you can’t deny that. But all he has now is a bad reputation following his name.

  62. Without a good attitude and the effort to support your talent, you have nothing as an athlete. Antonio Brown ruined his career because he had negative behavior and a bad attitude. It gives a lesson in itself. He was a good player and you can’t deny that. But all he has now is a bad reputation following his name.

  63. Good character is key to staying an athlete. How you act off the field/court can matter just as much if not more than how you are on the field / court.

  64. I learned that you need to have good character it doesn’t matter how good or bad you are. Maybe the bad people will get picked because of good character while the good people don’t.

  65. I learned that most times it doesn’t matter your skill, it matters what kind of teammate you are. You can be not the best player but have a great attitude and be an amazing teammate and still make the team.

  66. I learned that having a good attitude is essential to personal and team-wide success. Even if it’s hard in a tight game to stay calm, your true good character will show if you play with a humble yet confident attitude.

  67. i learned a lot of different things but one of them was that attitude plays a big part in sports as well as your talent and skills and it is just as important.

  68. Something that I learned from his story is that you have to play by the moral rules of the game and have good character. Rather than being a good person and having a good character, all Antonio Brown cared about was the money, and the fame that he wanted, and this is not really what sports are about. Sports are about building relationships with your teammates, and the broader community practicing the game that you love along side you.

  69. From Antonio Brown’s story I learned that talent can take you far, but character outweighs talent any day. All he cared about was fame, recognition, and money, and teams did not want to put up with it anymore because it began to hurt the team’s camaraderie. The lesson I took away from this story is that you can learn many things from sports, but the most important lesson is in character.

  70. This is important to remember because if you are a bad person, but can play well it is important that you know that everyone is replaceable on a team. It is the ugly truth that nobody’s talents are that unique to them. It is the character of a person that makes people not replaceable.

  71. What I’ve learned from this story is that character determines everything. I could have all the talent and opportunity in the world, but I wouldn’t be able to put it to use without proper character. Sure it’ll work for a little bit, but a long-lasting, worthwhile career can not happen without good character.

  72. I learned that being selfish will get you now where and that you should just do what the team asks instead of trying to do your own thing

  73. I learned that your attitude and character means everything and if you are lacking in one of those it will effect you.

  74. They said it pretty well character will eventually outweigh talent. If you don’t put effort into being a good teammate and general person that’s all would be judged by.

  75. I learned that it is important to maintain a good attitude towards your teammates and have a good character because character can get you farther than talent can at times. If you don’t have a good character but you have all the talent you’re character outweighs your talent and everyone remembers and notices you for your character.

  76. Antonio Brown is a prime example of someone who thinks they are above the rules. He disrespected his team by live streaming locker room conversations. AB disrespected authority of Oakland Raiders when he got into a fight with their general manager. He disrespected and violated the women that he sexually assaulted or raped. I think it is good that people do not want their name tagged to his. I hope his poor behavior and immaturity can be an example to young fans of what to not be like.

  77. Becoming great takes both talent and character. If you want to be a star, but you have a bad character, you will not reach success.

  78. I learned that an athlete that has talent is not guaranteed a spot because that athlete needs to be a good teammate and be a good person to get played.

  79. I learned that an athlete that has talent is not guaranteed a spot because that athlete needs to be a good teammate and be a good person to get played. They can’t just mess around and be a bad sport and be expected to be the best.

  80. No matter how good of an athlete you are, you should always be respectful with who you work with. Especially if your a popular players, it’s important to act the right way if your a role model to kids

  81. What I learn from Brown is not to be an idiot when the opportunity of a lifetime comes around and feels like he owns the place just because he’s the top seed. YOU HAVE TO STAY HUMBLE!!! In anything you do you have to stay humble.

  82. What I learned from the Antonio Brown story is that talent and your hard work mean nothing if you are not humble and do the right things on and off the field. In Antonio’s case it was off the field. He thought his talent made him invincible when it really could not.

  83. This story shows that you always have to be a good teammate, have a good attitude, follow the rules, and be positive. If you aren’t you will have consequences.

  84. I learned that you could be the best athlete in the world, but if you do not have the right attitude and actions, it’s not going to do you any good to have that talent.

  85. I learned that even though someone may be the best player out there, in order for them to truly succeed they need to have character and act with respect.

  86. I learned that your character is a big part of every sport. People view how you act and do things and Brown portrayed his negative character and it ended up in him loosing a spot in the NFL.

  87. I learned that even when you are really talented, if you don’t play it the team first and be a good teammate, then your talent is useless.

  88. I learned that you could be the best athlete in the world, but if you do not have the right attitude and actions, it’s not going to do you any good to have that talent

  89. Keeping a good attitude is important because it puts on a good example for your program and the people watching you. Also having a bad attitude can negatively impact your team/ teammates.

  90. I learned that it is important to have a good character. Antonio broke the team policy and talked to the media when he wasn’t supposed to.Then he got in an argument with his new coach. Then he was accused of sexual assault. If he had a good character he would never have gotten released.