A day after news broke that a woman accused Jets defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman of slapping her, head coach Rex Ryan insisted that the story couldn’t possibly be true.
“I know Dennis Thurman, and Dennis Thurman, the guy that I know, wouldn’t put his hands on anybody, let alone a woman,” Ryan said, via NJ.com. “That’s the Dennis Thurman that I know.”
When Ryan addressed reporters today, he didn’t even wait for a question about Thurman. He just launched into a defense of him.
“I want to start today by talking about Dennis Thurman,” Ryan said. “Obviously, there’s something that’s out there. I’ve been fortunate to know Dennis Thurman for about 15 years—worked with him for a long, long time. I’ll tell you a little bit about the guy. He grew up with five sisters. He’s got two beautiful daughters, and Dennis Thurman—I trust and respect—I love Dennis Thurman, OK? As a person, it’s an honor to know Dennis. And he’s a great person. I think when all the facts come out about everything, I think that people will start to realize that it’ll come around that the guy that I’m describing, everybody else will see the same way I do. All right? Really I think that’s all I’m going to talk about, about this situation, but I know Dennis Thurman.”
A 28-year-old woman accused Thurman of slapping her at a restaurant, but the manager of the restaurant told the New York Daily News that there were 13 witnesses who said the woman was acting “crazy” and that Thurman did not hit her. Police investigated and no charges were filed.