Jets discipline Sheldon Richardson for profanity-laced Snapchat post

ByRich Cimini ESPN logo
Wednesday, December 21, 2016

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson has been disciplined by the team for making a profanity-laced Snapchat video in the locker room two hours before losing to the Miami Dolphins last Saturday night.

Coach Todd Bowles, who called Richardson's actions "detrimental to the team," met Tuesday morning with Richardson. He refused to divulge details of the punishment, saying he wants to keep it in-house. Bowles, however, did say, "The discipline has been taken care of."

Richardson said Bowles didn't mention anything about being benched Saturday against the New England Patriots, leading him to believe his playing time won't be affected.

When asked whether he was fined, Richardson said, "No need to go into that. It's in-house."

Richardson, who spewed three expletives and made a derogatory comment about women in the seven-second video, said it was meant to be a private conversation with a friend. He said he never thought it would go public.

By Sunday morning, it was all over the internet.

"Do I regret it? It getting out, that's about it," Richardson told reporters at his locker. "I don't regret saying it. I was having fun with a friend. I mean, y'all have sent videos inappropriately to y'all friends, too.

"I just play football, at the end of the day. I have fun. I sit back and relax and crack jokes and talk about stuff like that to people. That's how I deal with my friendships and stuff like that. That's just how it is."

Richardson used teammate Rontez Miles' Snapchat account to make the video. In fact, Miles can be seen in the background. Richardson apparently was referring to Miles in the video when he said, "Don't f--- this guy."

Miles, too, was summoned to Bowles' office, but he apparently wasn't disciplined.

Bowles described it as "a social-media gaffe," adding:

"We don't condone what he did. He didn't go out and rob a bank, he didn't shoot anybody. He used two foul words on Snapchat. In the day of Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, anything you say in the line of the business we're in is detrimental to the team.

"We don't condone it. We don't want it. It was a mistake on his part. He understands that. He was remorseful. We handled it internally. That's the best I can give you."

This wasn't Richardson's first transgression.

Earlier in the season, he was benched for a quarter for violating team rules (late for a team meeting). He also has served two NFL suspensions -- a four-game marijuana violation at the start of the 2015 season and a one-game personal-conduct violation at the beginning of the current season.

The latter suspension stemmed from a July 2015 arrest in which he was clocked at 143 mph while trying to elude police in suburban St. Louis. He wound up pleading guilty to resisting arrest.

Bowles said it's unfair to lump the incidents together to paint a picture of Richardson.

"The other situations were police related," he said. "This was just immature. It was a big mistake on his part. We move on."

The Jets tried to trade Richardson, a former first-round pick, before the Nov. 1 deadline. They had talks with the Dallas Cowboys, reportedly asking for a first-round pick in return. It's likely they will re-visit trade talks in the offseason.

When asked whether Bowles was upset and disappointed by the video, Richardson said, "Both. He knows me, so he knows I didn't mean no harm by it. I would never say that publicly."

He said Bowles understood that he likes to be loose and have fun before games, but the coach also warned him to be more careful because "he's tired of repeating himself."

In 13 games, Richardson has only 1 1/2 sacks -- a career low.