Jets’ Ryan Can’t Seem to Stay Out of the Headlines

Published on: 1st February, 2010

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Jets' Ryan Can't Seem to Stay Out of the Headlines  | read this item

MIAMI — New York Jets coach Rex Ryan has apologized for flipping a middle finger at Miami Dolphins fans at a mixed martial arts event Saturday night in Sunrise, Fla.

A photo of Ryan’s rejoinder to boisterous Dolphin fans was captured by a cell phone camera and forwarded to Jorge Sedano of 790 The Ticket, an ESPN Radio affiliate in Miami and posted on SportsbyBrooks.com.

“It was stupid and inappropriate,” Ryan said in a statement released by the club. “I wouldn’t accept that type of behavior from one of the coaches or players and its unacceptable from me. I apologize to the Jets organization, the National Football League and NFL fans everywhere.”

Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum also released a comment.

“Rex showed extremely poor judgment, and his conduct was inappropriate,” Tannenbaum said. “He knows he was wrong, has apologized and we have accepted his apology. Any other actions regarding this incident will be addressed internally by the organization.”

The MMA event featured former NFL running back Herschel Walker making his debut and was televised by Showtime.

Ryan elicited loud boos from the crowd when a ringside Showtime interview was shown on the Bank Atlantic Center video scoreboard.

“I’d like to thank everybody here in Miami. I know they love me,” Ryan said with a grin.

“I want to just tell everybody in Miami, hey, we’re coming to beat you twice next year.”

Ryan led the Jets to the AFC Championship Game after they went 9-7 during the season to earn a wild card in his first year as an NFL head coach. He made headlines with his confident statements, including saying the Jets should be the favorite to win the Super Bowl when the playoffs began.

He previously had a verbal feud with Miami linebacker Channing Crowder, and deep in Dolphins territory, he was a likely target for boos.

Ryan could be subject to a league fine under the NFL’s personal conduct policy.

ESPN.com’s Tim Graham and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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