Italy: Issues Between QB Micah Brown & Lazio Marines Escalate

Photo: Beppe Fongaro

Micah Brown is a Hall Of Fame QB, who won 8 championships during his 10 seasons in Europe.  However, this season wasn't as smooth as expected, due to internal issues, which escalated to Brown leaving the team before the season was done. In most cases, when there are issues between a team and their imports, we tend to stay out of it, however, given the fact that Micah has a flawless career behind him, with teams that vouch for him, we're bringing you his story in full.

- There are many concerns and red flags regarding Lazio, even before my arrival in Rome. After talking with previous imports and coaches and people known to the organization, I thought that those were some concerns that I would be able to assist with. Stoked about the game versus Innsbruck, along with competing against the university team from the states, it would've been solid international competition. With The head coach and other import players that were committed, being in the Rome, it was a no-brainer, deal was done.

Upon my arrival in Rome, it was evident that the club was not prepared for us. The house was big enough to accommodate the imports, however the rooming situation was not how it was stated to us. Neither was the vehicle, gas allowance or transportation pass. I was also supposed to have multiple daily meals or a daily meal and special grocery allowance. When it came to be that there were no meal sponsors, I suggested a by weekly food allowance, which they agreed upon and set the amount for.

In regards to the field, the facilities and anything surrounding it, those things or what it was. The equipment and given, I believe my helmet was from the early 2000's, and a practice with this helmet up until the week of the first game, where I demanded to have a safe helmet. No helmet was set, started rolling with games and so on. Then you realize you run out of water during the game, meanwhile the main sponsor of the club is bottled water company. We were doing good on tape until that ran out along with not having a physiotherapist there at the games. Physio post game or during the week was scarce and limited, pending availability, I assumed. Then, you're informed as to why there is no physio at the games or during the week-- because for the past three years that therapist was not compensated for their services.

Continuing on with the fact of me having to buy my game jerseys, 144€ total. I will say they did have "my jersey" with number, however sizing was an issue. I was asked what size game jersey, game pants, sweats and team apparel what I wear, obviously I said my sizes and again they were not anything close to what I ordered. As an athlete you want your equipment including your game jersey and pants to fit a specific way, hence why you give and/or are asked what size you would like to wear.

Moreover, my first payment ended up being a month late. During the time of this late period, I was asked if I would make a new website for the club-- at my expense, create huddle highlight videos after each game, and apparently provide a written proposal on what I feel the club could do to benefit themselves better. If you know me, you know I enjoy doing these kind of things for clubs however I feel it's a bit tantalizing to request such things when it's not even communicated upon when the late salary will be paid. Needless to say I was invited to this managers house for dinner and to chat, which I thought was an awesome gesture, until it later came back that that meal should count as a daily meal (before the grocery allowance was in place). Oh or the gym deal were I would have to basically work at the gym, to train at the gym. I opposed this as gym was included in the contract, tell finally it came that I could gym for no cost.

So as the season goes along we lose a few games, very close, one-score games and the difficulties surrounding the club managements perspective was blamed upon the imports and stated that the imports aren't committed.

Wow! Was the only thing that came to mind.

To add to that reminding you of the Innsbruck game, I asked the manager on numerous occasions in various ways is the game on? Answer, in a roundabout way, Yes! I was tipped off from a current coach there that the game was not happening.

Micah  also said he had a foot injury which was followed by a lack of medical attention: Coach/manager made sure I went to the hospital and got an X-ray and also did a special tape/cast prior to games for me.

It was agreed upon with the general manager and I for me to have a return flight, provided by the club, for pending status of a government procedure in another country. While away when I was should've received salary, and did not, I reached out to the general manager and said "I'm done". He gave me some random, non-caring response and stated that I did not get paid because he was keeping the money for the flight. Again this is a flight that is "covered by the club".

Now we're getting down to it, where payments are still late. Given some amount now, playing the "I didn't know how much" card just to pay the remainder later. Having to be reimbursed pretty much every week because payments on salary and allowances we're not covered adequately. So there is a miscommunication between the president and the general manager. The general manager is my personal contact, any issues I have I should speak with him, when something isn't right he passes the blame on to the president, then says the president's English is limited. The president seemed cool he would see me, shake my hand, ask if everything is OK or if I needed anything. I didn't know how to take him in regards to if he knew and was acting this kind away or maybe he really did not have any idea. So I decided to have a meeting, with the head coach, the president, the general manager and another manager of the team to translate and is known to be 'straightforward'.

My exact words were "if you're late or don't come through on the terms we have, again, I won't say anything, I'll just leave. That's it. I'm done. Period." They stated they understood, they agreed and I felt better that it appeared we were on the same page.

Until what just happened, happened. The club was over a week late on allowance and late paying me full salary when it was due. I sent a friendly reminder to the president saying thanks I received some however I should have more. After about a week of no response, I sent "thanks 👌🏽" as to say you've made your decision. I expressed to the President and general manager that I need my salary and flight home, confirmed by Friday 14:00. Flight was to be the following Wednesday, after my initial plans to play in the must win game on Sunday to ensure a playoff berth.

The group discussion got pretty heated from the president side, and basically came down to he's not paying me, he wants the fight and he's going to come teach me a lesson, and I need to be out of the house by that evening. Among other things that were said from him and the general manager.

TDEU has reached out to the Lazio Marines. Board said it's a simple problem and that Micah decided he doesn't want to play for the team. Payments wise - they stated that he wanted to get paid prior to the due dates, and that right now, he's being uncooperative. Micah is on a flight back home as we speak.

Update: Lazio Marines have issued a press release. CLICK HERE to read it. English version is below the Italian one.
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