The NFL came down hard on Rex Ryan today, fining him $75,000 for screaming profanity at a fan.
Ryan made the foul-mouthed remark during halftime of the Jets’ Nov. 13 loss to the Patriots at MetLife Stadium after a fan suggested Patriots coach Bill Belichick is superior to Ryan at his job. As Ryan walked into the tunnel just seconds after the Jets surrendered an 80-yard touchdown drive, a fan yelled out "Hey, Rex, Belichick is better than you."
Ryan, who wasn’t exactly in a chipper mood at the time, responded with an obscenity, a move he said he regretted.
"I won’t appeal it," Ryan said today, adding that he had recently spoken with commissioner Roger Goodell to apologize for the incident. "The commissioner has got a tough enough job. I’m an NFL lifer and I know I represent the NFL, and I represent the Jets. So I’m accountable for my actions and I will not appeal it."
The fine was stiff because Ryan is considered a repeat offender. Following his first season with the Jets, Ryan made an obscene gesture at a fan during a Mixed Martial Arts event in Sunrise, Fla. the day before the Pro Bowl, and the Jets fined him $50,000. This time, however, it was the league who slapped Ryan with the fine, and another incident could have him looking a six-digit figure.
Ryan said he thought the fine was fair.
"It was a mistake and I’ve owned up to that mistake, there’s no question about it," Ryan said. "And I’m not going to appeal it because the man has made a decision and his decision is that I should be fined $75,000, then that’s the way it is. I just want to get it behind me. Obviously, this is a mistake that I made and I’m responsible for my actions and I haven’t denied that one bit or slouched on that responsibility.
"I understand it and I know to coach in the National Football League is an honor and 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."