Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown has been accused of obtaining a fake COVID-19 vaccine card ahead of the current NFL season, according to a report from the Tampa Bay Times.
Brown’s former chef, Steven Ruiz, told the Tampa Bay Times that Brown’s girlfriend, Cydney Moreau, asked him to obtain a fake vaccination card for Brown in July.
“Can you get the COVID cards?” Moreau said in a text to Ruiz on July 2, according to a screenshot of the conversation. “JNJ shot. Ab said he would give you $500.”
While the texts did not refer to Brown by name, AB is a nickname frequently used for Brown.
Ruiz told the Tampa Bay Times he was ultimately unable to obtain a fake vaccination card for Brown, but told the publication that Brown later showed him fake vaccination cards he had purchased form himself and Moreau before he headed to the Buccaneers’ training camp.
Brown’s lawyer, Sean Burstyn, told NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport that Brown is vaccinated against COVID-19. It remains unclear when Brown got vaccinated.
It’s also unclear if Brown will face discipline from the NFL or the Buccaneers.
Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians said in September that the team was “100%” vaccinated, but Brown still had to go through a 10-day isolation period imposed on unvaccinated players after he tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this season, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
The Department of Justice has warned against creating fake vaccine cards, saying creating documents with falsified government seals is a federal crime.
An FBI spokesperson told WFLA in August that anyone using a government seal fraudulently could face a fine or up to five years in prison.
Representatives for Brown did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.Tags: news sports