Jets fine coach Ryan $50,000 for obscene gesture
NEW YORK – Jets coach Rex Ryan was fined $50,000 by the team Tuesday for making an obscene gesture at a mixed martial arts event last weekend.
The team’s decision came after a smiling Ryan was caught on a cell phone camera flipping his middle finger at a fan during the competition in Sunrise, Fla., on Saturday night. The image of Ryan quickly spread across the Internet and made its way onto the back pages of New York tabloids.
Ryan apologized the next day, calling his actions “stupid and inappropriate.”
“I wouldn’t accept that type of behavior from one of the coaches or players and it’s unacceptable from me,” he said in a statement.
General manager Mike Tannenbaum had said the organization was disappointed and would address the matter internally.
The coach also could be fined by the NFL under its personal conduct policy. Commissioner Roger Goodell fined Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams $250,000 for making an obscene gesture to fans in November, but that was during an NFL game.
Ryan led the Jets to the AFC championship game in Indianapolis in his first year as an NFL head coach. He made headlines throughout the season with his confident statements, including saying the Jets should be the favorite to win the Super Bowl when the playoffs began.
When he was hired by the Jets last year, he boldly declared they would meet the president someday as Super Bowl champions. Ryan also said he didn’t come to New York to kiss New England coach Bill Belichick’s championship rings.
He also had a playful feud with Miami linebacker Channing Crowder, saying he had walked over tougher guys while going to fights. That made Ryan a likely target of booing fans during a TV interview at the MMA event in the Bank Atlantic Center, the Florida Panthers’ home arena.
“I want to just tell everybody in Miami, ‘Hey, we’re coming to beat you twice next year,”‘ Ryan said during the ringside interview.
The Dolphins beat the Jets in both meetings this season.
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