Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey decided to shove Cincinnati Bengals receiver A.J. Green moments before halftime — which escalated into a full-blown fight. Green and Ramsey were both ejected from the game.
On Thursday, Green told reporters he received a $42,000 fine that he will not appeal.
AJ on 42k fine: no appeal. I made a mistake, have to pay price— Geoff Hobson (@GeoffHobsonCin) November 9, 2017
The exact amount wasn’t revealed until Friday, when it was also reported that Ramsey wasn’t fined for his involvement.
What happened? Both players were talking trash to one another throughout the first half, but their war of words quickly transformed into blows.
With less than 30 seconds left in the half — Green placed his left arm on Ramsey's shoulder. Then, Ramsey decided to shove Green to the turf. In an instant, Green got back on his feet, grabbed Ramsey around the neck, and tossed him to the turf. Green fell on the ground and began punching Ramsey multiple times.
Players from both squads ran on the field to break up the fight. Members of both teams began to shove one another, and the officials spent a lot of time trying to regain control. When the first half ended, both Green and Ramsey were ushered to their separate locker rooms. EverBank Stadium security and Jaguars personnel restrained Ramsey from entering the Bengals' locker room.
According to ESPN's Michael DiRocco and Katherine Terrell, Brad Allen, the referee, said both players were "absolutely" warned before the brawl transpired. Ramsey was ejected for instigating the brawl, and Green was ejected for fighting — Allen said.
After the Jaguars won 23-7, Green apologized for his actions — saying he shouldn't have reacted in that manner.
"I apologize to my teammates, [Bengals owner Mike] Brown, and everybody, because that's not who I am. It just got the best of me today," Green said.
At the same time, however, Green said he has to defend himself when someone attempts a cheap shot. Simply put: He doesn't back down from anyone.
"I have a son, and I'm not going to teach him to back down from anybody like that. It's a respect thing. I respect all my opponents — but when it gets to a level, when I'm not looking and put myself in danger, I'm going to have to defend myself."
Ramsey, on the other hand, has been ejected for fighting twice in 24 career games. He engaged in a fight with Oakland Raiders receiver Johnny Holton last season. Ramsey wasn't in the locker room following the Jaguars’ victory, according to DiRocco.
The NFL decided it wouldn't suspend Ramsey or Green, but many expected the league to slap both players with fines. Green received a large one, but Ramsey avoided punishment beyond the half he missed.
Why is this important? Indeed, emotions run high in a physical sport like football. But there is a line that can’t be crossed, and punches go over that. Green was lucky not to be suspended for his actions.
Green isn't known for outbursts. In fact, he usually keeps his cool in tense situations. If you don't think so, just ask Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Antonio Brown.
that’s not like AJ !!!Not like AJ like he got great attitude something must be going on !— Antonio Brown (@AB84) November 5, 2017
Ramsey, on the other hand, isn't new to getting into fights. He often battles with opposing receivers and attempts to get under their skin. He is arguably the best player on the Jaguars, and they need him in that secondary, so there’s a limit he tests and getting ejected isn’t ideal.
According to DiRocco, Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone told Ramsey not to put himself in those situations. “You have to understand that the better player you are, the more stuff like that happens. He’s got to be aware of it," Marrone said.
However, Jaguars executive Tom Coughlin came to his defense and said Ramsey was playing within the rules and was unjustifiably ejected from the game. The NFL agreed and opted not to fine the cornerback, pinning the blame for the altercation on Green.