Ravens officially respond to Le'Ron McClain spitting allegations

In our various items regarding the question of whether Ravens fullback Le’Ron McClain did or didn’t spit in the face of Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder during Sunday’s game between their teams, we’ve opined that video of the incident contains strong circumstantial evidence of spitting, based on the movement of McClain’s body and the immediate reaction from Crowder.

The Ravens disagree with our assessment, and the team’s senior V.P. of public and community relations, Kevin Byrne, has contacted us with the franchise’s position on the situation.

“We think one of the things missed by those who believe that Le’Ron McClain spit on Channing Crowder based on the video you attached to your story, is the fact that the referee is right there — less than two feet away,” Byrne said in an e-mail to PFT.  “In fact, the ref is stepping between the two players.  Had Le’Ron spit, the ref would have penalized him, maybe even tossed him from the game. The ref has a firsthand view — and the best of anyone, independent of the two players. 
It does appear that Le’Ron tried to butt facemasks/helmets with Crowder, but we don’t think you can deduce that he spit from this, or any other video. 

“And, at the risk of sounding like the P.R. guy, spitting at an opponent would not be Le’Ron’s style.   He’s one of the good guys — and I believe reporters who cover us regularly believe this about the former team captain at Alabama and two-time Pro Bowler.”

We still think that the video indicates spitting, especially since McClain sheepishly has conceded as to the incident, “I guess a lil spit got on him.”

That said, even if the video merits a fine, we believe that the appeal system will result in a reversal of the fine, just as it did when Chiefs defensive tackle Shaun Smith was fined $10,000 for grabbing packages other than those routinely delivered by UPS.

86 responses to “Ravens officially respond to Le'Ron McClain spitting allegations

  1. No doubt in my mind that “Dirty Bird” spit on him. Not surprising coming from the always classy Bmore crowd.

  2. Just cause the Ref was 2 ft away doesnt mean he saw it, theyare F’ing up every other call .

  3. Football player standing at locker, holding bottle of Head and Shoulders: “Florio, did you just write that whole column so you could make another mention of Shaun Smith grabbing guys’ packages?”
    Florio: “No, I didn’t do that”
    Football player: “Didn’t you?”
    Florio (Toupee getting much thicker): “No”
    Football player: “Didn’t you?”
    Florio (Looking sheepish – Toupee is now huge, like a giant bush on his head): “Yes”

  4. You know what? Clam Chowder needs to start backing up all his BS talk. The amount of garbage spewing from this goon’s mouth is ridiculous. I’m not surprised someone would mistake him for a spittoon. Kind of like the Miami Dolphins since Marino and Shula.

  5. Damage control….a little late
    And what’s Byrne telling us, that McClain is too principled to spit on a guy but has no problem head butting him “sucker-punch style”. I wonder if he realizes how stupid he sounds

  6. I think this PR guy is missing something. If McClain simply headbutted Crowder, shouldn’t that be a penalty too? The ref didn’t see anything is what this guy should have concluded.

  7. Yeah the Ratbirds are tough, spitting in a guys face is the ultimate coward move. He’s lucky Crowder didn’t finally back up his talk on the field.

  8. No comment re: whether he actually spit or not.
    But the Ravens cover is TERRIBLE at best. “The ref was right there” — yeah? because we’ve all learned this year what a terrific job the referees have done not missing any plays at all.
    Wasn’t there a ref RIGHT THERE for the Quarless bobble? Or the Harvin step-out of bounds?
    That’s just two examples of refs being “right there” and not seeing correctly exactly what they’re meant to be assessing.

  9. If you remember, Crowder spent all of last week running his mouth about Mason, and the rest of the Ravens.
    Then, at a point during the game when it was apparent that his mouth had written checks he and his Dolphin teammates could not cash … suddenly this comes up.
    Nice attempt at an excuse, Crowder, but that’s not spit on your face … it’s egg.

  10. What other possiable position did we think the Ravens would take? Give me a break PR dude. I believe if you look at the clear video evidence, the Ref simple missed it, kinda like the clear recover of a fumble by the Stealers in the endzone. What is funny YOUR OWN PLAYER ADMITS IT AND YOU STILL DENY IT? The team PR bull Sh****r would have been better off saying nothing.Head butt? You kidding too,right?To all the Raven team defenders on here, Yes your team won, yea we all saw the game. What does spitting in someones face HAVE ANYTHING WHATS SO EVER TO DO WITH IT? Nothing….

  11. OMG i have respect for ravens org, but this is EASILY the dumbest thing i’ve ever heard. the video which shows this has the ref’s BACK TO US. MEANING HE COULD HAVE BEEN LOOKING ANYWHERE. (Note: the eyes have independent muscles from the rest of your body. Amazing!)
    Come on Ravens FO… this is just sillyness.

  12. The refs are two feet away from a lot of things that go unnoticed, things like fumbles at the go line, or a WRs foot being completely out of bounds at the back of the end zone. Lame attempt by a PR team.

  13. The refs are two feet away from a lot of things that go unnoticed, things like fumbles at the go line, or a WRs foot being completely out of bounds at the back of the end zone. Lame attempt by a PR team.

  14. Florio, if you ever deke me into a video of Crowder without his helmet on again I will look into a lawsuit. I shouldn’t have to be subjected to such hideousness without some kind of graphic content warning. That man is fugly.

  15. La Bron may have spit. But Channing swallowed. Cause that what the Dolphins and their fans do!

  16. @Lurch
    Crowders “trash talk” included such harsh words as “…he’s still good as hell” and “they have amazing recievers on the outside” so I really dont see the dissrespect everyone keeps talking about.

  17. “…the fact that the referee is right there — less than two feet away…the ref has a firsthand view.”
    Really? Because I’ve seen many plays where the ref was “right there” and had a “firsthand view” and still blew the call.

  18. @Lurch
    Really? Do you think he was thinking about this as he was lining up?
    I’ve heard a lot of excuses, but this is probably one of the worst.

  19. I still think it’s hilarious that all these guys Channing crowder Tom Jackson all these same guys who talk about how they’re warrior and they play a mans game and that they’re warriors and all that are getting in this huge uproar about a little spit?!?!?! O I’ll fight u in the streets I’ll come find where u live blah blah blah Jesus Christ man up it is not that serious and for the record wasn’t Channing crowder wearing a clear visor during that game cuz I definatwlt saw him wearing one at the beginning of it and all u idiots who say he should get suspended for allegedly spitting your dumb outta your minds James Harrison has taken years off a couple guys lives this season and hasn’t been suspended u really think they would suspend McLain?

  20. Yeah, and wasn’t one of the Raven’s star players considered a “person of interest”, nay, a suspect in fact, in a murder a few years back.
    And didn’t their owner, you know the one who keeps petitioning his owner buddies who keep dying out for entrance into the HOF, make the most classless, gutless move in pro sports?
    I guess it’s intellectually incompatible that Denny McClain spit at Chowder

  21. I like Ratbirds, and Baltimoron has always been a favorite of mine. I’m shocked the Ravens organization won’t admit what clearly happened. I used to think that at least their upper management was stand up/decent people.
    @andyprough, love the head and shoulders commercial you made up. So true.

  22. even if la’ron did spit, which i doubt he did- you trying to tell me this chowder chump doesn’t deserve it? all this guy is known for is helmet to helmet tackles and running his mouth, he sucks. he runs his mouth like he’s ray lewis but hasn’t done a thing, the only play i even saw him involved with was mcgahee throwing him to the ground with a stiff arm- guys a bum, and the phins are mediocre at best, oh well, on to the next one…
    midseason superbowl tomorrow night- ravens-falcons, ravens by 10.

  23. Raven fan here, he did it, should be fined or whatever else is needed
    I wish he had beat the shit out of him instead although that would have caused a penalty
    Crowder made a huge error by walking into their backfield like he owned the field, but not spit worthy
    The organization is not classless though, thats just steeler talk as for some reason they are always bitter

  24. Chowder Head – the model of sportsmanship for Dolphins football.
    With leaders like that, who needs criminals?

  25. Good thing Miami isn’t playing the NFC South this year. If they had to visit Atlanta I’m sure Ray Lewis could take care of this mess once and for all.

  26. It’s amazing that Raven’s fans can’t just admit that McClain was in the wrong. Win or lose, talkin crap or not, spitting in someone’s face (which it was clearly evident that he did) is classless, disrespectful, and a cowardly action. He may as well have kicked him in the nuts. speaking of calls that were missed in that game, how about the 2 qb slides that chad Henne still got hit on.. those are both 15 yard penalties and for sure keep one drive alive. Miami played terribly the whole game, so it wouldnt have mattered, but still the principle of it all.

  27. Hound Dog says:
    November 10, 2010 9:19 AM
    No doubt in my mind that “Dirty Bird” spit on him. Not surprising coming from the always classy Bmore crowd.
    ——-
    So the crowd spit on him? you’re an idiot, stay in your crap chute known as Ohio

  28. 6-2 and getting ready to smack around the best team in NFC tomorrow so who really cares about this other than ESPN and fans of suck a#% teams! Classless Defines Crowder Head, as mason said, even his own team wants to get rid of him.

  29. @Matt
    I’m not 100% sure, but I dont think Channing has ever been fined for any helmet to helmet hits. Regardless, no…no one deserves to be spit on. I mean really?

  30. Ravens are #1 in the AFC cause they have a weak schedule. The only teams they play are the Pats and the Jets, which they split the games with. Falcons will be interesting, but I’m not very confident in their skill either.

  31. You stay classy Ravens! Straight garbage. Oh, and the Ref who was standing “two feet” away when the incidence occurred? The old bastards are deaf, dumb and blind. The scumbag clearly spit on the other scumbag.

  32. You’ll talk about the Ravens being classless, well let me tell you, “A fool is not reveled until they open their mouths” and after reading these posts I see there sure are a lot of fools around here!

  33. What’s a little water among friends? It’s not like he molested underage drunk girls in a bar or something like some other player…..

  34. Their entire defense is to point out that the referee didn’t notice…this is the same referee that didn’t see (or hear) crowder adamantly trying to call a time out for several seconds (he had to run through the line all the way to the QB before he was noticed and awarded the timeout) Crowder is a douche but nobody deserves to be spat on. The video is clear and Crowder’s reaction is immediate and undeniable…except to some folks associated with the Ravens. The Dolphins got their ass whipped in the game but that incident is despicable and deserves scrutiny.

  35. even though I think Crowder deserves to be spit on, it IS pathetic that this guy can’t even own up to what he did.
    I doubt Crowder would have reacted that way on the field had McClain NOT spit. He’s not that smart to plan ahead to fabricate this story and the actions on the field in advance.

  36. Tric says: November 10, 2010 10:53 AM
    “Classless Team. Classless management”.
    The ol’ standby statement. ../”
    Exactly… people have been saying that for so long it’s become cliché hasn’t it?
    Baltimore is synonymous with classless.

  37. # Mike says: November 10, 2010 11:13 AM
    Ravens are #1 in the AFC cause they have a weak schedule. The only teams they play are the Pats and the Jets, which they split the games with. Falcons will be interesting, but I’m not very confident in their skill either.
    —————————————————-
    Umm…okay? They’ve played the Pats, Jets, and Steelers all on the road, and were 2-1 those games. They’ve beaten a previously undefeated road team in the Dolphins, and a Browns team that took down both the Saints and Pats.
    The Falcons are 6-2, and undefeated at home. You’re already implying you won’t be impressed if the Ravens beat them. I’m not sure which team you’re a fan of, but your post reeks of yinz-ness.

  38. My 61″ HD TV says McClain spit in Crowder’s face.
    If I were a mega-rich football player, I’d gladly take a HUGE fine to be able to beat the living snot out of someone who spit in my face. To me, having someone spit right in your face is about as low as someone can get. It’s pretty much up there next to someone slugging your mother.
    Once again, a Baltimore Raven provides proof that the organization is a bunch of classless, moronic douchebags.

  39. …And James Harrison admittedly says that he tries to injure people on every play. Real class act that gorilla is. He should take his CDL and roll the F out of the league.
    All of you that want to bash the Ravens organization, fine, have fun. But you know it’s not the truth. This team consistently puts a quality product on the field, despite whether this spitting incident took place. Crowder is a dumb dumb dumb human being, and proves that the American educational system has failed yet another D1 athlete. I actually hope that Le’Ron did it cause it would have helped him clean up some that mange on his hurrrrrrting face.
    Browns and Bungles fans, please be gone from the conservation, you’re as relevant to the topic of professional football as a Pittsburgh citizen in a college level course.

  40. @ hooj
    WRONG. Head-to-head is first tie breaker between even records. Pats beat Ravens… so Pats are still #1. Good try though.

  41. The Media is the problem. This web site is the problem. the media Manufactures news. makes policy and predicts the national opinion. Often you are wrong. More often you jump to conclusions about what you see.
    Perhaps the reporting of the news should take president over the distribution of opinion.

  42. @Mike says:
    “Ravens are #1 in the AFC cause they have a weak schedule.”
    Hahaha.. now thats funny. Pitt x2, Cinnci x2, Patriots, Jets, Falcons, Houston, Saints, Dolphins, Bucs? Such a cake walk right? Get real.

  43. @TD 40
    Thank you for clarifying that your TV is HD, because my assumptions lead me to believe that you’re from Pittsburgh where most are still rocking a 61″ Mitsubishi projection from 1992 that’s deep enough to fit 10 bags of groceries.
    Classless, moronic, douchebags? You my friend need to wash your brain out and your womans choch with the vinegar and water.

  44. I’m a Ravens fan, but if LeRon spit in his face he should be fined and the team should suspend him. I do find it difficult to think that a referee inches away from their faces didn’t see anything and why would Crowder just deck him? I cannot believe anyone with an ounce of testosterone would not want to rip his head off if he spit in his face. COMMON MAN

  45. Football player standing at locker, holding bottle of Head and Shoulders: “Florio, did you just write that whole column so you could make another mention of Shaun Smith grabbing guys’ packages?”
    Florio: “No, I didn’t do that”
    Football player: “Didn’t you?”
    Florio (Toupee getting much thicker): “No”
    Football player: “Didn’t you?”
    Florio (Looking sheepish – Toupee is now huge, like a giant bush on his head): “Yes”

    LMFAO

  46. This isn’t news. Keep whining and complaining because in one week, no one will care about this… at all. On a side note, had Crowder not opened his mouth in the first place this would never have happened. He would have only lost the game instead of both losing and taking a lougie to the face.

  47. I am surprised that the “senior V.P. of public and community relations” would respond to your story with an email that sounds as emotionally charged as this seems.
    I would have expected a more polished and simple response that showed support for (1) McClain being a respectful player; (2) the game officials being in position to make the appropriate call; and, (3) the review process that the league will apply to all available footage.
    I realize this may not have been an official press release, but the “senior V.P. of public and community relations” should expect that any email like this would be published verbatim.

  48. At least McClain didn’t sexually assault him!
    I love it.
    Ben allegedly assaults females.
    Typical Steeler fan response: “THERE’S NO CONCRETE PROOF!!!!!”
    McClain allegedly spits on Crowder.
    Typical Steeler fan response: “KILL HIM!!!!! WHAT A CLASSLESS HUMAN BEING!!!”
    Sometimes I wish the Ravens organization and fanbase could be as classy (and intelligent) as Steel town. I guess we just don’t have our priorities in order.

  49. Hey TheCityThatReeds “And James Harrison admittedly says that he tries to injure people on every play. Real class act that gorilla is”
    Get your facts straight. Harrison said he does NOT try to injure, he tries to “hurt” the opponent. Tell me that not every great defensive player in the league does not have the same mentality? Butkus, Lambert, Lott?
    Give me a break! This is becoming so ridiculous that players that play the game like the great ones of our past are being demonized by the media.
    The next time Ray Lewis hits someone and parades around the field beating his chest, tell me he did not enjoy “hurting” his opponent.
    Your gorilla comment is racist and you should be banned. I do not appreciate you calling a black player who plays hard a gorilla. Keep it classy Baltimore!
    In addition, your team’s captain has a history of not being so classy. Go back to Atlanta on the eve of the Superbowl and you will find some interesting facts about a white limousine, blood, and a necklace.

  50. Beckzhere says:
    November 10, 2010 10:55 AM
    Let the Ravonettes try some of that BS tomorrow in Atlanta.
    ——————————————–
    You’re not suggesting that the Falcons are tougher than the Ravens?
    You may win this game tomorrow as everything is in your favor and a – what? 11-0 home record …
    but you will have players hurt, you will see YOUR players listed here on Friday for taking a boo-boo time-out.

  51. For all of you who are saying the Ravens organization is classless from top to bottom, You WISH your organization was half as classy as B-mores. They are one of the top in the NFL along with the Steelers and Pats. Say what you want but facts are facts they are classy, they do things the way they need to be done and they always take care of there own, That equals classy.

  52. The ref being right there shouldn’t merit any acquittal of wrong doing…
    1- The league thought the ref being “right there” wasn’t enough to ensure 100% accuracy with calls so they put in the replay.
    2- If you’re a 5’10” 190lb ref trying to break up an argument between two fully padded monsters standing at least 6′ 230lbs, chances are you’re not staring at their faces, you’re looking for an opening to wedge between without getting cracked in the head by arms, shoulders or helmets.

  53. Hmmm ….
    The body gestures suggest spit, but you can’t actually see spittle on the video I watched. And the official wasn’t positioned to see it. Of course, Crowder could have showed the ref spittle on his face–that would have been definitive. It’s a vile thing to do. Then again, I’m tired of all these strung-out dramas over stupid things like spit and package grabbing in a pileup (which, I understand, has gone on as long as there have been pileups), and chatting up women (which has gone on as long as there have been women). It’s getting uber-silly.
    ————–
    LebronJeremy says:
    Legal to spit and grab balls…not legal to tackle.
    EXACTLY

  54. Le’Ron should be fined for his actions, but those calling for suspensions are crazy. I’m not excusing what he did, but Crowder certainly instigated the entire incident by crossing through the Ravens line like that. What was he trying to prove? His comments after the fact were ridiculous, and fine-worthy as well.
    As for the rest of you piling on, calling the Ravens classless, etc… Just give it up. The Ravens are a model franchise, from top to bottom. They are easily among the least-fined teams this season, and also one of the least penalized. For a team that is apparently so dirty and “classless”, the facts don’t really bear that out.

  55. Either way McClain was wrong to either spit in Crowder’s face or to “butt heads” with him. By the way where are all these “classless” accusations coming from? why don’t you comment on the cowboys firing wade without telling him or Bill and his Pats cheating on their so called undefeated regular season. The ravens aren’t cheap by any means, they have attitude and swagger. If thats wrong for a team to have, especially their defense then i must have been apart of the wrong sport in college and high school.

  56. The Ravens must have something on RG, blackmailing him somehow. They have received more help from the officials than any team in the league. They don’t beat the Jets or Bills without obvious help from the refs. Besides the spitting incident, there was a play in which Henne did a slide and Ray Ray jumped on him, head first and no flag! Their fans are by far the biggest whiners in the league and I know that’s saying something! They are sooo freakin jealous of the Steelers that it borders on the ridiculous. Peace Out!

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