FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — It was meant to be a private joke between friends, but Sheldon Richardson’s seven-second, profanity-filled clip accidentally went public and quickly spread like wildfire. By Sunday morning, his pregame Snapchat video had riled up an already frustrated Jets fan base and irritated his coach, who, in Richardson’s words, is “tired of repeating himself.”
Todd Bowles told reporters he spoke to his defensive end before Tuesday’s practice, but he declined to say whether Richardson’s punishment involves a fine and/or a suspension.
“It won’t happen again,” Bowles said.
Pressed again on whether he plans to bench Richardson, Bowles said: “That’ll reveal itself when it comes out. Once I talked to him, I was pretty much done.”
Richardson, a first-round pick and the 2013 Defensive Rookie of the Year, posted a video to teammate Rontez Miles’ Snapchat account in the locker room prior to a 34-13 loss to the Dolphins Saturday night. In it, Richardson asked, “Where the (derogatory term for women) at?” and said either “(Expletive) this game” or “(Expletive) this guy,” referring to Miles, who was seated beside him in the video.
Miles, Richardson’s roommate the past four seasons, said the video was meant for a former teammate (he wouldn’t say who), but instead was published for all of Miles’ Snapchat followers to see.
Richardson declined Tuesday to clarify exactly what he said. When told that many fans believe he was expressing disinterest in playing the Dolphins, he replied: “If they watched the game, they know I didn’t play like that. I care about every game I play in, every down I do get, and that’s pretty much it, really. Everybody knows my heart. I play hard whether win, lose or draw.”
He said Bowles understood “I didn’t mean no harm by it” and “I would never say that publicly.” But he didn’t express remorse for uttering the vulgar words.
“Do I regret it? It getting out?” Richardson asked. “That’s about it, really. I don’t regret saying nothing, I was having fun with a friend. Ya’ll have sent videos inappropriately to your friends, too, so I just play football. I’m a regular person at the end of the day.”
And he’s prepared for his punishment.
“I don’t know if it’s a game-time situation, as far as me missing time on the field,’’ he said. “We’ll see on Saturday.”
The “social media gaffe,” as Bowles termed it, was just the latest in a growing list of questionable decisions by Richardson, who was benched for a quarter last month against Miami after he “overslept 20 minutes” and was late to a meeting. (Muhammad Wilkerson, a repeat tardiness offender, also was benched for the first quarter of that game.) The NFL also suspended Richardson for four games in 2015 and for this year’s season opener because of a failed drug test and an arrest last offseason.
Peppered by questions about Richardson’s lack of judgment and immaturity, Bowles said: “He didn’t go out and rob a bank. He didn’t shoot anybody. He said two foul words on Snapchat.
“. . . Anything you say (on social media) in the line of business we’re in (that’s) detrimental to the team, we don’t condone it, we don’t want it. It’s a mistake on his part, he understands that. He was remorseful. He didn’t go out and jump off a bridge and push somebody off a building.”
Bowles also said he spoke to Miles about the video.
“You’ve got to understand people are watching,” said the safety, who deleted the Snap from his phone Sunday. “We’re adults. He’s got to be more careful.
“ . . . It happened so fast. (We’ve done this) a million times. We mess with each other’s Snapchats all the time. We made a snap, I put my phone down and got ready for the game and heard about it the next day.”