AM 570 LA Sports conducted an exclusive interview with Antonio Brown’s former personal chef Steven Ruiz just a week after Ruiz made headlines for outing his former client for allegedly obtaining a fake COVID-19 vaccine card to avoid ever having to get vaccinated.
In one of the most bizarre stories of the year, something Brown knows all too well, Ruiz told Fred Roggin, Rodney Peete, and Eric Dickerson of AM 570 Sports that the NFL is trying to silence the story involving one of the best players of the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and that Brown's representation even tried to pay him off to stifle Ruiz going public with the damning accusations.
Ruiz told AM 570 Sports that Brown is not vaccinated, and that a teammate of Brown’s on the Buccaneers was actively selling fake vaccine cards to other players on the team in attempt to avoid strict NFL masking and testing protocols for unvaccinated players.
Ruiz says the All-Pro wide receiver at one point asked Ruiz to get him a fake vaccine card, but later told Ruiz he had already obtained one from a Bucs player selling fake vax cards. Ruiz said he looked up the serial number of the vaccine card Brown was using and it rendered an address ‘in the middle of nowhere, Florida’ three and a half hours north of Tampa.
Ruiz questioned why Brown would drive three and a half hours when the team offered the vaccine at the facility.
Ruiz says he has a picture of Brown’s fake vaccine card but will wait to go public with it, saying he wants to see what the NFL and the Buccaneers do in terms of contacting him, which according to Ruiz, they have not as of Monday afternoon.
One important thing that was noted in the interview was the fact that Ruiz says Brown owes him $10,000 in unpaid wages from his time working for Brown, but told AM 570 Sports that this is a ‘public safety issue’, and not a way to get Brown back for not paying up.
Check out the FULL interview above as well as the most notable portions of the transcript.
Fred Roggin: “Get us to the story about the vaccination card, if he [Antonio Brown] is vaccinated or if he’s not vaccinated, because you were really at the center of that.”
Steven Ruiz: “At the end of the day he’s not [vaccinated.] When he was here in LA, him and his girlfriend were asking me to get him the vaccine card. I tried my best, I really had no idea who to contact when he was asking me to get them for him. The week prior before I left to Tampa I had asked him ‘do you need the vax card?’ and he was like ‘no, got it covered.’ When I arrived to Tampa I had asked him again and he was like ‘yeah we’re good, I got it covered.’ He had purchased it from another player on the team, he said that everything was ‘good’ and that he ‘took care of it.’ Some of the players came over right before training camp and produced the cards and gave it to him.”
Roggin:“You’re saying that AB was not vaccinated and he got a fake card from someone on the team?”
Ruiz: “Yeah, exactly, he got a card from another player on the team. I looked up the serial number on the card and it’s three and half hours north of Tampa where he allegedly got the vaccine. The question is, if he really was vaccinated this could have been brought to light and just proven the day that the story broke. They could have just said ‘look at the serial number, look it up, this is where he was.’ We all know, why would AB drive three and a half hours north to a county in the middle of nowhere Florida to get a vaccine, when it was available at the Buccaneers’ facility?”’
Roggin:“You also said that one of the payers on the team was in essence supplying guys fake cards?”
Ruiz: “Correct, he had mentioned a couple of guys' names, I think his name was ‘Franklin’ but I’m not really sure, but it was one of the other players who was there.”
Roggin: “So one of the players was selling fake vaccination cards to the players?”
Ruiz: “From what AB told me, yeah… I know it was a topic that the players were trying to get these cards to be 'fully vaxxed’ to the public, but that wasn’t the case at all.”
“Sure, you could maybe say it’s sorta ‘revenge’, it’s not really about the money. At the end it’s more of a public safety issue, that these players are flying around the country pretending to be vaxxed and it’s not right.”
“His attorney [Antonio Brown's] tried calling me before the story broke and they were trying to offer me money, and they were trying to pay me off to stay quiet because they had gotten word that I had reached out to the Buccaneers franchise and made them aware that there was somebody who was unvaxxed on the team, and his attorney had called me and said that they were trying to keep quiet and they were trying to offer me the money."
“I looked up his [Antonio Brown's] serial number because the Bucs are trying to discredit me. Jay Glazer is saying that everything is fabricated, that I’m lying, and all of this stuff, but honestly, if I was, they would have proved it already, and I don’t think the NFL or anyone really wants to touch this. They’re trying to bury it.”
“The NFL has not reached out to me. I’m pretty surprised, I thought they said they would do their due diligence, and that they would cover the matter, but if he was vaxxed this probably would have been done and over with in a day."