NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The NFL handed out a $12,000 fine to Jets quarterback Geno Smith following an expletive-filled retort he made at a fan following the team’s loss to Detroit last Sunday.
Smith was walking off the field at MetLife Stadium following the 24-17 defeat when he looked into the stands at a heckler and yelled at him, using an expletive.
The incident was caught on camera exclusively by CBS 2.
The fine issued by the league was for unsportsmanlike conduct.
The second-year quarterback immediately apologized following the game.
“Before we start this off, first of all I want to apologize if any kids saw me saying any negative remarks walking off the field,” Smith said to open his postgame news conference. “I kind of let my temper get the best of me in that situation, and it’s a part of my learning process.”
On Friday, in an exclusive interview with CBS 2, one New Jersey man said he believes he sent the second-year quarterback over the edge.
“And as he’s coming off, I’m yelling at him, and him and I made contact. And my buddy and I are standing next to each other and you know, we’re just yelling at the guy,” Morganville resident Al Zapata told CBS 2.
Zapata said he locked eyes with Smith as he screamed at him from the elite seats of the Toyota Coaches Club.
“As he was getting closer, I said, ‘Hey Geno! You suck!’” Zapata said.
Zapata said Smith then looked directly at him and screamed, “F— you!”
While Zapata is confident he is to blame, the Jets organization has their doubts and told CBS 2, “Geno Smith says he did not respond to the fan who said ‘you suck.’”
The Jets wouldn’t reveal the fan comment Smith claims made him lose his cool.
Zapata, who happens to be a New York Giants fan, said he regrets heckling Smith and doesn’t think the quarterback should be fined.
“I feel bad because, you know what? I didn’t think it would be this,” he said. “It’s a first offense. It was a tough game. There’s so much going on in the NFL already. This is such a little, stupid thing.”
The Jets said they don’t believe Zapata’s comments caused the outburst because Smith hears those types of comments all the time and never loses it.
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