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NFL sides with Le'Ron McClain in Channing Crowder spitting case

Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder says Ravens fullback Le’Ron McClain spat in his face during Sunday’s game. But the NFL says its review of the case doesn’t support that claim.

NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora reports that the NFL will not issue any fines in connection with the incident. Director of Football Operations Merton Hanks reviewed the video and a report from referee John Parry, who was standing next to McClain and Crowder while they jawed at each other, and Hanks decided there was nothing conclusive enough to warrant league discipline.

The video of the incident appears to show McClain’s head moving in a way consistent with a spitting motion, and then appears to show Crowder reacting in the way a person who had just been spat on would react. But you can’t actually see any spit on any of the replays.

And the Ravens are standing strongly behind McClain, with the team’s spokesman telling PFT McClain wouldn’t do such a thing, and Ravens coach John Harbaugh insisting McClain isn’t that type of player.

Dolphins coach Tony Sparano, however, is just as adamant that Crowder is telling the truth, and he says video confirms Crowder’s story.

“I have enough evidence,” Sparano said. “It’s upsetting to me.”

But the NFL says there isn’t enough evidence, and so McClain will not be disciplined.

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78 Responses to “NFL sides with Le'Ron McClain in Channing Crowder spitting case”
  1. Pistol says: Nov 10, 2010 2:44 PM

    I guess Merton Hanks should be an expert on head movements, considering the ridiculous bobble head thing he used to do.

  2. metalman1320 says: Nov 10, 2010 2:45 PM

    Go figure…….
    But on a side note, I hear the league’s looking into whether or not Ben shot semen into a cheerleaders face…….

  3. GetReal1 says: Nov 10, 2010 2:46 PM

    After the Pittsburgh game, you’d think Sparano would have figured out the league policy: when in doubt, the side with the AFC North team.

  4. eastslastheart says: Nov 10, 2010 2:47 PM

    of course they side with the ravens.

  5. Steely_Dan says: Nov 10, 2010 2:47 PM

    That’s one magic loogie.

  6. Peter Pantsless says: Nov 10, 2010 2:48 PM

    Maybe Le’Ron just has really bad breath.

  7. MrJumpman2310 says: Nov 10, 2010 2:48 PM

    It’s done and over with, let’s move on…. The dolphins loss, the Ravens won… On to Atlanta….
    Go Ravens!!!!

  8. Youngs79 says: Nov 10, 2010 2:48 PM

    Merton Hanks, now there’s a blast from the past. Dude had the longest neck I’ve ever seen.

  9. TakingBackSundays says: Nov 10, 2010 2:48 PM

    Well, what do you know? The fine-happy NFL decides not to fine McClain because of a lack of evidence. Hopefully this will quiet the Raven haters, but I know that won’t happen.
    I’m getting my box of tissues ready for the influx of Steeler whiners about to make their way in here…

  10. USC_Fan says: Nov 10, 2010 2:49 PM

    I’m actually surprised spitting doesn’t happen more in the NFL and this is such a big story.
    When I played ball in HS I got spit on quite often by upset players on the other teams. It’s annoying to be sure, but I still prefer it to the crotch-twisting some players tried.

  11. FinFan6886 says: Nov 10, 2010 2:49 PM

    Sad. Despicable act by McClain. It wouldn’t have mattered anyway because the video of the junk grab from earlier in the year was more conclusive yet the fine was overturned. Move on and play better Dolphins.

  12. riverhorse says: Nov 10, 2010 2:52 PM

    Def spit in the guys face but maybe Crowder deserved it.
    he was shooting his mouth off pretty good before the game.

  13. BmoreFTW says: Nov 10, 2010 2:55 PM

    Don’t spit on me bro!
    But really, just goes to show you can’t believe everything you see on tv.
    As a side note, I wonder if McClain can bring a libel claim against the Miami broadcast that affirmatively declared that he did spit on Crowder. It is false. And they did say he did it, sans any use of “allegedly” or like disclaimer. And it does give McClain a negative image.

  14. Sting Ray says: Nov 10, 2010 2:56 PM

    I think it’s pretty clear, unless they have a close up on the spit hitting the player in the face the NFL won’t do anything about it. Lugies away!!

  15. The Hogster says: Nov 10, 2010 2:56 PM

    The Dolphins will be charged with their 3rd Timeout.

  16. cmich06 says: Nov 10, 2010 2:57 PM

    Low rent move from a low rent player on a low rent team

  17. Razsan says: Nov 10, 2010 2:58 PM

    so his head is making a motion consistant with someone spitting…Crowder responds in a manner consistant with someone being spat upon…and the NFL says there isn’t enough evidence????
    (And Calvin Johnson didn’t catch the TD in the Bears game???)
    Is the NFL now officially a joke or is there even more comedy yet to come.

  18. Nacho Nacho Cheez says: Nov 10, 2010 3:01 PM

    No one cares about the dolphins.
    They haven’t been relevant in YEARS.
    They’re more noted for something that happened 38 years ago and who owns the team.
    It seems as though what is being done on the field has become secondary.

  19. nasheagles says: Nov 10, 2010 3:05 PM

    Maybe Crowder will decide not to walk across into the backfield and run his mouth and then point fingers. Call your time out and stay with your team.

  20. EddieGenius says: Nov 10, 2010 3:06 PM

    It was Keith Hernandez

  21. birdmancometh says: Nov 10, 2010 3:06 PM

    “Hopefully this will quiet the Raven haters, but I know that won’t happen.”
    Oh please, there is no such thing as a Raven hater. You’re giving your team too much credit.

  22. ADogDC says: Nov 10, 2010 3:07 PM

    No Luggie, no penalty…..
    No Matter what PFT thinks…..

  23. Chuck says: Nov 10, 2010 3:07 PM

    I guess that’s a double spit in the face to Channing Crowder.

  24. Jessie Z! says: Nov 10, 2010 3:07 PM

    Wow, that’s hard to believe. Shame on the league for this mishap.

  25. Tonydungysdeadson says: Nov 10, 2010 3:09 PM

    I spit all the time without ever moving my head since when was if a rule that u have to jerk your head forward to spit

  26. Belichick Is God says: Nov 10, 2010 3:13 PM

    don’t see the spit, you must acquit!

  27. SomeFans says: Nov 10, 2010 3:14 PM

    “and Ravens coach John Harbaugh insisting McClain isn’t that type of player.?”
    Really? Well, that’s good enough for me.
    Love,
    Roger Goodell

  28. mikeyb1313 says: Nov 10, 2010 3:14 PM

    “and Ravens coach John Harbaugh insisting McClain isn’t that type of player. ”
    LOL mcclain is a world class dirtbag who fits in perfect in that scum organization… anyone who doesnt think that is delusional

  29. MartinK says: Nov 10, 2010 3:14 PM

    Awesome – Just remember, if there isn’t conclusive evidence, then you can spit onto a guy’s face, grab his balls and do whatever you please – free of any consequences!! I pray noodle arm leads the fins to the playoffs and they get to play the ravens!

  30. Vipercwf says: Nov 10, 2010 3:15 PM

    Maybe Le’ron gave Merton some favors, because Merton Hanks IS that kind of guy..if you know what I mean.

  31. shallowfan says: Nov 10, 2010 3:16 PM

    I could show that video to my 6 year old girl without telling her anything about the situation and she would say…”He spit on him…gross!”
    What evidence do they need?
    He clearly spit on him.
    I think what makes it a bigger story is because that is something you just don’t do to another man in any setting (or anyone for that matter). I would say if someone came up and spit in anyone’s face who is reading this there is going to be a fight.
    Maybe James Harrison should just concentrate on perfecting the “Spit and Jock Grab” defense because that seems to be ok with the league…

  32. Razsan says: Nov 10, 2010 3:17 PM

    The Jokes continue: From MLIVE.COM
    ALLEN PARK – Detroit Lions right guard Stephen Peterman was fined $10,000 by the league today for his two chop block penalties against the Jets ($5,000 per infraction).
    A look at the game tape, though, shows that the Jets defenders were not engaged by another Lions blocker when Peterman made his perfectly legal cut block. Peterman said he asked the official why he called the first chop block and the official answered, “Because you were baiting him.”

  33. SomeFans says: Nov 10, 2010 3:17 PM

    “They haven’t been relevant in YEARS.
    They’re more noted for something that happened 38 years ago and who owns the team.”
    Typical comment coming from jet scum… except it’s been what 42 years now?
    and counting. Call us when your pathetic jv franchise is over .500 lifetime

  34. Mac says: Nov 10, 2010 3:18 PM

    I think there a second spitter on the grassy knoll

  35. NoRingsForYou says: Nov 10, 2010 3:19 PM

    Of course the Ravens dont’ see anything wrong with spitting in someones face. They don’t see anything wrong with stabbing someone either, do they Ray Ray?

  36. PatricktheDookie says: Nov 10, 2010 3:20 PM

    I don’t care for the Dolphins or that idiot Crowder, but that was definitely spit.

  37. andyprough says: Nov 10, 2010 3:21 PM

    I like how this has become the “Crowder spitting case”
    Dude is the alleged “spittee”, not the “spitter”. Shouldn’t it be called the McLain spitting case??
    Poor Crowder – can’t win for losing. Kind of like the life of Anne Frank in an odd way…

  38. JohnnyUlives says: Nov 10, 2010 3:21 PM

    I understand the dolphins fans on this post but why squeeler fans? They should start getting concerned about their players being fined and suspended for head hunting and cheap shots that they have already been fined for! Bring on the suspensions for these classless squeeler thugs!

  39. jdo says: Nov 10, 2010 3:22 PM

    Imagine that Goodell sides with the Ravens. Goodell is a joke.

  40. Rogue says: Nov 10, 2010 3:23 PM

    What the hell is the NFL getting too. A bunch misfits from fines to whatever. Did any of the league official includin Gooooooodelllll ever play football in the NFL

  41. Green Eggs and Elbow says: Nov 10, 2010 3:23 PM

    Why is Helen Keller’s leg Yellow?
    Because Channing Crowder is too freakin dumb to know whether he got spit on or not.
    Why did Helen Keller’s dog run away?
    Because the Dolphins SUCK!!!

  42. stuulman says: Nov 10, 2010 3:24 PM

    isn’t the way mcclain moves his head also consistent with a headbutting motion? and couldn’t crowder also be pissed that someone just headbutted him and talked shist to his face? i’m just trying to stay impartial here, and your logic of consistencies could also be applied to several other circumstances, i.e. headbutt/shit-talk and subsequent reaction by a known hothead

  43. Tyde says: Nov 10, 2010 3:26 PM

    Two weeks ago, T Suggs was yapping about Tom Brady after the Patriots had beaten the Ratbirds, but then Derrick Mason had the cojones to tell the Dolphins to “take their loss” like men? What a bunch of classless hypocrites.

  44. Joemamma says: Nov 10, 2010 3:26 PM

    2 losses for Crowder in one week, loser

  45. birdmancometh says: Nov 10, 2010 3:27 PM

    Where is my Colt Anderson news?

  46. overkil2 says: Nov 10, 2010 3:27 PM

    Wow, we can’t get anything overturned.
    Oh well. Nothing to see here, move along.

  47. Backinthesaddle says: Nov 10, 2010 3:28 PM

    I thought it was obvious that McClain spit in his face. Watch the video and he obviously makes a spitting motion right into Crowders face. Then Crowder goes ballistic immediately after it. Then in the locker room Crowder is made it very plain that McClain spit in his face.
    Now the refs come out and say there is not enough evidence? What a huge load of _____! The only things they don’t have enough of are balls or integrity. McClain should get a $50,000 fine and be suspended for 4 games. That sort of behavior is absolutely despicable. If the league is so concerned about it’s image, there is absolutely no incident any more obviously screaming out for hard nosed disciplinary action.

  48. Ollie says: Nov 10, 2010 3:35 PM

    “He spit on me ref”
    “No I didn’t”
    “Yes he did”
    Grow up! No wonder these over paid bullies can’t stay out of trouble. You know they didn’t make it through college on their own.

  49. Steelerschick43 says: Nov 10, 2010 3:36 PM

    TakingBackSundays says:
    November 10, 2010 2:48 PM
    Well, what do you know? The fine-happy NFL decides not to fine McClain because of a lack of evidence. Hopefully this will quiet the Raven haters, but I know that won’t happen.
    I’m getting my box of tissues ready for the influx of Steeler whiners about to make their way in here…
    ———————————————
    And what do the Steelers even have to do with this article????????

  50. howitzer819 says: Nov 10, 2010 3:38 PM

    I can not think of a professional athlete that deserves to be spit on more than Channing Crowder.

  51. TakingBackSundays says: Nov 10, 2010 3:46 PM

    birdmancometh says: November 10, 2010 3:06 PM
    “Hopefully this will quiet the Raven haters, but I know that won’t happen.”
    Oh please, there is no such thing as a Raven hater. You’re giving your team too much credit.
    ——————————————————
    Ah, the classic response. “You’re not significant enough to care about.” Well, tell that to the other 99% of commenters on here then. They sure seem to harbor enough angst against the Ravens.

  52. TomsLocks says: Nov 10, 2010 4:03 PM

    @BmoreFTW says:
    November 10, 2010 2:55 PM
    Don’t spit on me bro!
    But really, just goes to show you can’t believe everything you see on tv.
    As a side note, I wonder if McClain can bring a libel claim against the Miami broadcast that affirmatively declared that he did spit on Crowder. It is false. And they did say he did it, sans any use of “allegedly” or like disclaimer. And it does give McClain a negative image.
    ————————————————–
    Baltimore is such a cesspool of idiocy. The clip shows him spitting on Crowder you moron. So, how would one sue for libel when it DID in fact happen? Go back to the armpit of America you call B-town.

  53. protectthishouse54 says: Nov 10, 2010 4:08 PM

    Well at least now we get the chance to see if Pennington can throw further than McClain can spit. Oy. What happened?

  54. texasPHINSfan says: Nov 10, 2010 4:10 PM

    “# BmoreFTW says: November 10, 2010 2:55 PM
    Don’t spit on me bro!
    But really, just goes to show you can’t believe everything you see on tv.
    As a side note, I wonder if McClain can bring a libel claim against the Miami broadcast that affirmatively declared that he did spit on Crowder. It is false.”
    ———————————————–
    it isn’t false just because the league didn’t fine McClain – the league just decided there wasn’t enough evidence (although i don’t know how you can say that after watching the video).
    You don’t “pretend” to spit on someone, then have that person “pretend” to react to spit instantaenously and Crowder doesn’t have that reaction if it isn’t spit. Come on now….
    The league is just stupid. Another Raven gets away with it.

  55. TakingBackSundays says: Nov 10, 2010 4:12 PM

    Steelerschick43 says: November 10, 2010 3:36 PM
    And what do the Steelers even have to do with this article????????
    ——————————————————
    Nothing at all, of course. Yet, here you are anyway.

  56. njhitman says: Nov 10, 2010 4:17 PM

    Did they look at the tape guess not because you can see a white glob of something flying from his facemask with the head movements and all its plain and simple he did it

  57. njhitman says: Nov 10, 2010 4:19 PM

    Ray Ray told the guy who was looking at the tape to see if it happen “You know that knifes fall out of the trees around here so watch your back”

  58. dietrich43 says: Nov 10, 2010 4:41 PM

    Carol Channing Crowder adds Merton Hanks to his list of ‘people to sneak up on and beat up in a dark parking lot’.

  59. SteelTown-6 says: Nov 10, 2010 4:43 PM

    Good… glad to see he got away with it.
    Karma has a funny way of dealing with the Ratbirds.

  60. TakingBackSundays says: Nov 10, 2010 4:47 PM

    # SteelTown-6 says: November 10, 2010 4:43 PM
    Good… glad to see he got away with it.
    Karma has a funny way of dealing with the Ratbirds.
    ——————————————————
    Funny you should say that, as karma seems to affect the Steelers just as badly. Hence, their entire starting offensive line on the way to IR.
    Keep watching, those oh so classy Stillers Ben and “Silverback” may not be too far behind.

  61. Terry says: Nov 10, 2010 4:52 PM

    BUT………..Florio said it was spit!

  62. NFLGREEDLEAGUE says: Nov 10, 2010 5:22 PM

    if it’d been a defender spitting on a defenseless receiver then there would have been a fine

  63. 305phinphan says: Nov 10, 2010 5:33 PM

    Is their some conspiracy the NFL has with the Miami Dolphins? Not to nitpick but they have the hardest schedule out of every AFC East team and finished 3rd in the division last year. They have played numerous teams that are coming off of bye weeks.
    They got screwed on the Pittsburgh game and now they won’t fine a player that CLEARLY spit on Channing even Stevie Wonder could see that. I really feel like the NFL sides with teams no matter what the circumstances are and there are politics involved.

  64. Ravenmaniac says: Nov 10, 2010 6:05 PM

    give it up for njhitman everybody….one of those classic Ray-Ray knife jokes…ah hitman you are something……too funny….toofunny….

  65. Nizzle 84 says: Nov 10, 2010 6:08 PM

    Geez….Im glad SpitGate is finally over
    after this incident i guess we all can agree:
    “SPIT HAPPENS”

  66. Deb says: Nov 10, 2010 6:33 PM

    Wow, the junior high kids sure lined up to be first to comment on this thread.
    If Sparano has video evidence that shows spit, I’d like to see it because you don’t see any spit on the videos I’ve watched. Crowder could have solved the whole mystery if he’d turned to the official, pointed to the spittle dripping down his face, and said, “Look, he spit in my face.” But he didn’t do that.
    Yeah, MDS, Crowder’s body language makes it seem as though McClain spit in his face, but funny, I don’t recall seeing footage of Crowder wiping away spittle, do you? Doesn’t it seem like he would have wiped away spittle … if there had been spittle to wipe away?
    As a Steelers fan, I don’t usually side with Ravens, but listening to all the Dolphins whining, I feel like I’m defending the men against the little boys.

  67. previouslybannedfromPFT says: Nov 10, 2010 6:36 PM

    Talk about much ado about NOTHING. What is the big deal? All the crap that guy talks, he had it coming! Now go back to the bench, BOY.

  68. rarson says: Nov 10, 2010 6:43 PM

    “Ray Ray told the guy who was looking at the tape to see if it happen ‘You know that knifes fall out of the trees around here so watch your back'”
    Memo from New Jersey public schools:
    The plural of “knife” is now officially “knifes”.
    I’m a Ravens fan, and it’s pretty clear that he spit in Crowder’s face. I don’t think that is acceptable. I hope Harbaugh discipline him for it.

  69. steelerfan9598 says: Nov 10, 2010 7:14 PM

    If there is no spit, you must acquit.

  70. rarson says: Nov 10, 2010 7:27 PM

    Deb, the video I watched was off Youtube… so the quality was crap. From what I saw, one could probably infer that he spit on Crowder (I assumed the high-def video was probably pretty clear), but as you pointed out, I didn’t really see any spit (though I can’t imagine McClain’s motion would have been anything else).
    I understand why they didn’t fine him. They didn’t see any spit. If it were me, I can guarantee my first action would be to wipe my face off, not run after him, or at least maybe say something to the ref standing right next to me. Who, by the way, apparently didn’t see any spitting.
    At this point, I don’t really know that he did, although it looks like he might have, but most importantly, I’m just in awe that I’ve actually spent this much time talking about spit.

  71. melikefootball says: Nov 10, 2010 7:54 PM

    You just have to look real hard at the league office and there so called policy. Here is a throughly classlass, bush league act and no fine. Gee I know I have a hard time lets see awh not spitting on purpose. This NFL proffesional? league is so becoming the NBA. Sucks.

  72. INVAIDUH says: Nov 10, 2010 8:26 PM

    LMFAO @ The Hogster….+5

  73. tobago says: Nov 10, 2010 9:14 PM

    probably happened in the heat of discussion

  74. Macadamia says: Nov 10, 2010 10:05 PM

    Of course they did, who doesn’t want to spit on “Chowder.” Ravens 2, Fish 0

  75. Rav3nMad says: Nov 10, 2010 10:11 PM

    I think its kinda funny how everyone assumes that he DID spit when you can’t tell from the video evidence. I also find it odd that you can assume based off a head gesture that it counts as him “spitting.” Then you see people posting about how the Ravens are thugs when the Dolphins players admit in interviews they will dish out vigilante justice in retaliation. So we have hypocrites and experts in human body movements posting on this thread? I also get a bit of a tickle when Steelers fans intentionally go to a post like this to badmouth the Ravens when the story has nothing to do with them in the 1st place. How about you worry about your players getting fined by the league for illegal hits and being SECOND place in the division fellas.

  76. Raven Adam says: Nov 10, 2010 10:20 PM

    the motion that mcclain made could be what most people who fight would do meaning “wanna step” kind of like you lunge that the person but pull back just to see if they flinch..

  77. Deb says: Nov 10, 2010 10:46 PM

    @rarson …
    Yeah, the video I saw was on YouTube. But the video the NFL checked should have been hi-def. Then again, I wouldn’t believe Roger Goodell if he told me the sky is blue. It looks like Le’Ron is making a spitting motion, but maybe he was dry and nothing came out. Maybe he needs to watch “Titanic” for some spitting lessons :) Just tough to imagine that Crowder wouldn’t have reflexively wiped at the spit if any had hit him in the face. But he didn’t.
    Yep, a long time talking about spit lol

  78. knightringonow says: Nov 17, 2010 1:38 AM

    Le’Ron McClain, Jason La Canfora and Merton Hanks. Sheesh! What’s with these names? Whatever happened to Tom, Dick and Harry?

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