Steven Ruiz whistled Antonio Brown, alleging that the Buccaneers’ receiver received a false vaccine card. Ruiz wants the money Brown owes to him.
Ruiz, Brown’s former chef, told TMZ he plans to sue the receiver over $10,000 in unpaid wages.
“The game plan now is to file a lawsuit and take it from there,” Ruiz told the outlet. “People provide a service and you’ve got to pay for it. That’s it.”
After Brown, 32, failed to pay what Ruiz says he’s owed, Ruiz went public with the allegation that Brown received a fake vaccine card from a teammate. The NFL suspended Brown, and Buccaneers safety Mike Edwards for three games each because they misrepresented their vaccination status.
Ruiz said the NFL reached out to him during its investigation, which he believes “cleared [his] name.” He also said if Brown had paid him, the whole situation “possibly could have been avoided.”
“Honestly, at the end of the day, we were pretty close,” Ruiz told TMZ. “I considered him a friend; he probably considered me a friend at the end of the day because we worked so close together. He was my roommate for the first month after I arrived in Tampa. He was my partner in LA and I was there for quite some time. I don’t know what he would have done if he didn’t pay me. He would probably still be receiving a salary in the NFL today. He’d probably be playing the games that he could be playing and none of this would have even happened.”
Brown’s lawyer told NFL Network that Brown is vaccinated. The wide receiver hasn’t played since Oct. 14 due to a foot injury. NFL Network reported Sunday that Brown’s future with the Buccaneers is uncertain.