New York Jets defensive end Shaun Ellis was fined $10,000 by the NFL for throwing snow at fans following the team's loss at Seattle on Sunday.
Several fans threw snowballs at New York players and staff as they walked off the field after the Seahawks' 13-3 victory. As he approached the walkway leading to the locker room, Ellis reached into a pile of snow, picked up a large chunk and tossed it into the stands at Qwest Field, appearing to hit at least a few fans. No one was believed to have been injured.
Ellis said yesterday that he wasn't angry at the time, and that there was no malicious intent on his part.
"It was all in fun," he said.
Video of the incident originated on YouTube after a fan captured it on film and posted it on the site.
"It was kind of like a little battlefield out there, so to speak," Ellis said. "I mean, it was just all in fun, going to the locker room."
Newsday reported that the video showed the fans didn't take the toss personally, that laughter can be heard, and that the fan who caught the snow chunk can be seen hoisting it like a trophy, then putting it under one arm and waving.
According to an NFL spokesman, players are notified before each season that any contact with fans that potentially presents crowd-control issues and risk of injury is prohibited. Players also are informed that they must not confront fans during games and must leave any issues to security personnel.
Coach Eric Mangini thought his team was put in a dangerous predicament as it walked off the field, saying several people were pelted with snowballs.
It's the latest troublesome incident involving Ellis, who was arrested for speeding and marijuana possession last month and could face a suspension next season under the league's substance-abuse policy. The league is still reviewing that incident.
"I'm just continuing to go out and just play football," Ellis said. "In the end, we're all human."
* James "Shack" Harris resigned as personnel chief of the 5-10 Jacksonville Jaguars, taking the fall for a franchise that flopped this season and avoiding what might have been an embarrassing return to Baltimore this weekend.
Harris' dismissal was somewhat expected, and he might have wanted to avoid the trip to Baltimore. The first black quarterback in NFL history to start a season opener, Harris was the Ravens' pro personnel director for six seasons and helped Baltimore win the 2001 Super Bowl.
* Carolina placed defensive tackle Gary Gibson on injured reserve with a hand injury. The Panthers filled the roster spot by signing J'Vonne Parker, who had been on Atlanta's practice squad.