The NFL fined New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick $50,000 on Wednesday for grabbing a replacement referee after his Sunday night game against the Baltimore Ravens.
While there was initially a lot of outrage over the thought of someone touching an official, replays of the incident showed that Belichick’s grab was about as harmless as such an act can be. He was merely trying to get Esteban Garza’s attention as everyone was running off the field and, either purposely or accidentally, Garza ignored the Patriots’ coach.
The grab was just a way to grab attention, and Belichick said this much on Monday.
"I've coached in this league a long time," Belichick said Monday. "I've never been penalized, never had any incidents with officials or anything like that. I have never meant any disrespect or in any way tried to abuse or be disrespectful to the officials and the job that they do.
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"I was trying to get an explanation for obviously an important call/play in that game. That's the No. 1 thing between coaches and officials, it's always at the forefront, just communication of what's going on and what's happening."
Nevertheless, the league ruled that Belichick had "impermissible physical contact with an official" and hit him with a $50,000 fine. H will not appeal the ruling.