Mayfield acknowledged that a fine would likely follow before he shared his thoughts on the officiating and said Wednesday that the punishment didn’t make him regret the comment because “it needs to be said.” Mayfield also said he would be appealing the fine.
“Well, one, I wouldn’t say it’s complaining when it’s blatantly obvious,” Mayfield said, via Cleveland.com. “I’d say that’s just stating facts. Freedom of speech I thought, but that’s OK, I get fined for it. It’s the league, that’s what they do. They fine you for some ridiculous things. That’s just how it is. There’s a reason that everybody is talking about it.”
While Mayfield’s a bit off about the protections from consequences for speech, he’s right that plenty of people around the league have been sharing critical thoughts about officiating this season and he’s right that fining people for doing it is something the league can do in response.
The NFL sent a memo reminding teams of that fact recently and Mayfield’s coach cited it for not doing the same thing his quarterback did in the wake of the Seattle loss.