League Fines Four Ravens Players $70,000 in Total, Official Not Disciplined
Four Baltimore Ravens players were fined a total of $70,000 by the NFL for "abuse" and criticism of the game officials during and after Monday night's loss to the New England Patriots, the league announced today.
Linebacker Bart Scott was fined $25,000 for "verbally abusing" the officials and throwing a penalty flag into the stands. Wide receiver Derrick Mason and cornerbacks Samari Rolle and Chris McAlister were fined $15,000 each for critical postgame comments.
"This is about the importance of sportsmanship and respecting the integrity of our game," Ray Anderson, the NFL's executive vice president of football operations, said in a written statement released by the league. "We do not tolerate inappropriate conduct between teams and game officials. This includes reminding game officials that they are to conduct themselves at all times as professionals in their dealings with players, coaches, and other club personnel."
According to the league and the Ravens, Anderson spoke to Scott and Rolle in Baltimore on Thursday before issuing the fines today.
"Last Monday night's game was well officiated, and it is the obligation of both players and coaches to maintain proper respect for game officials at all times," Anderson said in the league's statement.
Ravens players were highly upset by a series of calls that went against them late in the 27-24 defeat, which improved the Patriots' record to 12-0. Three times on the Patriots' game-winning touchdown drive, they apparently failed on fourth-down tries, only to be given reprieves. The Ravens called a last-moment timeout from their sideline just before a failed quarterback sneak. A failed run was negated by a false start penalty on the Patriots just before the snap, and an incompletion was nullified by a defensive holding call on the Ravens.
After the game, Rolle said that head linesman Phil McKinnely had addressed him disrespectfully on the field by calling him "boy." A league official said today that McKinnely was not disciplined but was reminded by Anderson of his obligation to conduct himself professionally in his dealings with players, coaches and team officials.
"As I said earlier this week, our actions were not appropriate near the end of our game against the Patriots," Ravens Coach Brian Billick said in a written statement released by the team. "We, our players and coaches, understand and accept the fines levied by Commissioner [Roger] Goodell. We believe in the integrity of NFL officials and don't believe they, in any way, favored the Patriots with their calls.
"As a team, we've discussed a number of times about not speaking publicly about any unhappiness we have with the officials. As emotional as the end of Monday's game was, I should have reminded the players of that in our post-game meeting. That's my mistake. We do appreciate the extra step taken by the commissioner's office when Ray Anderson came here [Thursday] to talk with some of our players."
By Mark Maske |
December 7, 2007; 3:33 PM ET
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