Antonio Brown Retires From NFL, Purchases Ownership Stake in Arena League’s Albany Empire

Antonio Brown celebrated his retirement from the NFL in a major way by purchasing an ownership stake in a football team and making his father the vice president of a franchise he used to play for.

Brown threw in the towel as an NFL free agent this week and bounced back by becoming part owner of the National Arena League’s Albany Empire alongside Mike Kwarta, TMZ reports. It’s a big move for Brown, who made his father, “Touchdown” Eddie Brown, VP of the team he played for from 1994 to 2001.

Brown is reportedly excited about his new role and has been a very hands-on franchise owner. The All-Pro receiver spent part of his childhood in Albany when his dad played for the Albany Firebirds.

On Wednesday, he teased the purchase on Twitter with two tweets, one about a “big announcement” and a throwback photo taken with the Firebirds mascot during his childhood.

“Albany NY was always a special place for me and my family,” he wrote.


On Thursday, Brown was announced as the team’s new owner during a press conference where he said he was “excited and grateful to be a part of the Albany Empire.”

“I grew up here as a little kid, you know, watching my dad be successful,” he said via CBS 6 Albany.

His father shared in his son’s excitement for the full-circle moment.

“Everything right now is surreal,” Eddie said. “I’m happy to be home.”

The NFL alum aims to bring the team a third championship after two years of back-to-back NAL wins.

Brown played 12 seasons in the NFL for various teams, including the Pittsburgh Steelers, Oakland Raiders, New England Patriots, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He had quite the exit last year when he walked off the field shirtless.

Controversy continues to follow him in the wake of his NFL career. But now, with him owning a team, some of that publicity might help increase ticket sales to the Albany Empire games.