Jets’ Ryan Softens Stance On Cowboys Fans, Says He Wasn’t Advocating Violence

NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) —  Rex Ryan says he was not calling for trouble in the stands when he suggested that “it’s probably not recommended” that Cowboys fans wear team gear to MetLife Stadium on Sunday night for the regular-season opener.

“I don’t know why they’d be here,” the Jets’ boisterous coach joked on Wednesday.

Ryan’s comments were criticized heavily by WFAN’s Mike Francesa on Thursday, particularly in light of recent fan violence at Candlestick Park in San Francisco and Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

Fighting at this year’s 49ers-Raiders preseason game in August was witnessed by the mayors of San Francisco and Oakland along with being captured on video and replayed over and over again online.

More than 70 fans were ejected, 12 people were arrested and dozens of medical calls were made. After the game, two men were wounded in separate parking lot shootings. A third man earlier was beaten unconscious in a bathroom.

The violence in San Francisco was a reminder of an attack at another rivalry game. Giants fan Bryan Stow was severely beaten by two men in Dodgers gear after the  archrivals’ season opener.

Stow, 42, a Santa Cruz paramedic, suffered severe brain injuries.

The brash coach says “it certainly wasn’t my intention to be taken that way. I certainly didn’t mean it to come out like that if that’s the way it was taken.”

Ryan said he doesn’t want to see any opponents’ jerseys in the crowd simply because “I would like to see our stadium just in our colors.”

“I don’t think our stadium needs to have visiting color jerseys,” said Ryan. “I want to have our stadium filled, and if it’s somebody else coming to enjoy a game, that’s fine. I’m not calling for our guys to do anything. The safety of every fan is important to everybody in this organization, including me. But would I not prefer to see another color jersey? Absolutely.”

Do you think the league should do something about Rex’s comments? Sound off below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • lawyermom

    Rex since when does the home team have the right to monopolize all the seats at a sports forum? You need to publicly say that everyone is welcome, including fans of the other team wearing their colors. Otherwise you come across as some juvenile gang punk protecting your territory. Even if that’s what you are, the team management and ownership needs to rein you in. Your “clarification” is not helpful!

  • Big Bob

    I accept Coach Ryan’s explaination that it certainly wasn’t his intention to suggest any use of violence. Why in the world would he do that? Francesa waisted no time in exploiting Ryan’s comments as he suggested that Ryan was inciting Jet fans, to bolster interest in his own show.(Just as he did last season) Weather coach meant Cowboy fans are subjecting themselves to good natured sports ribbing (which is most often the case) or to being mugged and beat up is entirely up to individual interpretation. Francesa never came close to pointing out that no matter how they may distort or misinterpert the coaches comments fans are responsible for their own behavior and the consequences thereof. For Francesa to suggest that Coach Ryan would call for trouble in the stands is totally irresponsible his part. I’m sure Francesa has no regrets as his phones rang off the hook.

  • joseph

    If Rex meant what he has explained it would have behooved him to say it clearly the first time. As an NFL head coach he has enough gray matter to know how his statement would be received. His comment was wreckless, if not dangerous. A fine would be in order.

  • Maryann

    I think it’s very disturbing that a fan of the opposing team, after Ryan’s comments, would be afraid to support his team or wear their jersey. If the fans can’t support their teams, whether at home or at away games, and have to worry about getting beaten or worse, you might as well close all the stadiums and just broadcast the game on TV.

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