FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – Rex Ryan’s mouth really cost him this time.
The brash New York Jets coach will not appeal a US$75,000 fine issued by the NFL on Monday for using profanity while angrily responding to a fan at halftime of New York’s 37-16 loss to New England last Sunday. Ryan received an official notice from Commissioner Roger Goodell in the morning.
“The commissioner’s got a tough enough job,” Ryan said. “I’m an NFL lifer. I know I represent the NFL and I know I represent the Jets, so I’m accountable for my actions.”
Ryan spoke to Goodell a few days ago to discuss the matter, and to apologize to him.
“Quite honestly, the man’s made a decision, and if his decision is that I should be fined $75,000, then that’s the way it is,” Ryan said, when asked if the punishment was excessive. “I just want to get it behind me.”
A 49-second video shot by a fan at MetLife Stadium shows the Jets walking off the field and when Ryan appears, someone is heard yelling, “Hey, Rex, Belichick is better than you,” referring to Patriots coach Bill Belichick. Ryan looks up and tells the fan to “shut up” while also using an obscenity.
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Ryan apologized a day later for what he called “a mistake,” saying he “was full of emotion and just popped off.” Moments earlier, the Jets had just allowed the Patriots to take a 13-9 lead into halftime. He reiterated Monday that he has owned up to what he did since the incident became public last week.
It’s not the first time Ryan is in trouble because of his mouth, which likely contributed to the hefty punishment. He was fined $50,000 by the Jets in February 2010 after he was caught on a cellphone camera giving the middle finger to a fan during a mixed martial arts event in Florida.
“I know that to coach in the National Football League is an honour,” he said. “I don’t want to be the guy to put a black eye on this or whatever. I just want to get it behind me and move forward.”
The Jets will not further discipline Ryan for the latest incident, saying it was a game-related matter.
General manager Mike Tannenbaum said in a statement last week that he and Ryan discussed what happened and the coach “knows that his behaviour was not acceptable.”