Chris Jones fined $10,069 for language used against Matt Ryan

Last Sunday, referee Shawn Smith threw a flag that quite likely influenced the outcome of the Chiefs-Colts game. The man who was penalized has also been fined.

According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Media, Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones was fined $10,069 for unsportsmanlike conduct. The conduct, however, was verbal.

It’s still not publicly known what Jones said. Smith did not specify the language in the post-game report. As PFT has reported, Smith called it “disturbing language” that has “no place in professional football.”

“You’ve just got to go out there play a solid, fundamental, Christian-like game,” Chiefs defensive end Frank Clark said Friday, with more than a little sarcasm.

It’s still not acceptable for Smith and the league to conceal what Jones said. Players, coaches, and teams need to know where the line is. The referee has broad discretion in such situations. If he chooses to exercise it in a key moment of a game, he should be expected to disclose what he heard. Or what he thought he heard.

Transparency in these matters is critical. With widespread legalized gambling on games, a call like that can affect money-line wagers and spread bets. Significant money can change hands based on something other than the skills and abilities of the players. Absent a willingness to be clear and open about what was said, people will wonder whether it wasn’t nearly enough to justify a fine.

The fact that Jones was fined suggests that maybe Smith was asked to disclose what he heard to Jon Runyan, who makes the determinations. Which means we’ve renewed our effort to find out what specifically was said.

Chris Jones fined $10,069 for language used against Matt Ryan originally appeared on Pro Football Talk


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