Bucs: 'No evidence' Antonio Brown used fake COVID vax card
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown is facing an allegation that he used a fake vaccination card. Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Buccaneers say there's 'no evidence' WR Antonio Brown used fake COVID-19 vaccination card

Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times (h/t Pro Football Talk) delivered a bombshell on Thursday by reporting that Tampa Bay Buccaneers star wide receiver Antonio Brown allegedly utilized a fake COVID-19 vaccination card to get around the NFL's health and safety protocols earlier this year. 

Per the story, Steven Ruiz, Brown's former live-in chef, is allegedly owed $10,000 by the one-time Super Bowl champion and, thus, is attempting to expose the 33-year-old. Stroud's report continues that Alex Guerrero, the famous trainer for Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady, photographed Brown's vaccination card to verify the player's status for the Buccaneers and NFL. Guerrero was unaware the card was an alleged fake. 

However, NFL insider Josina Anderson reports the Buccaneers are not yet buying what Ruiz is selling: 

The Bucs released a statement on the matter:

Interestingly, Brown tested positive for COVID-19 in September. Brown's lawyer has denied Ruiz's claim. 

"Antonio Brown appreciates the severity of the pandemic, which is why he got the vaccine and supports everyone for whom it is advisable to get the vaccine," the attorney said in a statement shared by ESPN. "Coronavirus has hit close to home as it took him out of a game. He is healthy, vaccinated, and ready to win another Super Bowl. One of the worst parts of the pandemic has been a movement to cast doubt on our country's vaccination programs with baseless, vindictive tabloid gossip." 

ESPN adds a player caught using a fake vaccination card could be subject to punishment via the league's personal conduct policy and could also face legal issues. 

Earlier this month, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and wide receiver Allen Lazard were fined $14,650 each for violating the NFL's coronavirus-related policies, while the Packers were hit with a $300,000 fine. 

Zac Wassink is a football and futbol aficionado who is a PFWA member and is probably yelling about Tottenham Hotspur at the moment. Erik Lamela and Eli Manning apologist. Chanted for Matt Harvey to start the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 2015 World Series at Citi Field. Whoops. You can find him on Twitter at @ZacWassink

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