NEW YORK (AP) – Tampa Bay’s Ronde Barber was fined $30,000 by the NFL on Wednesday for punching an official during last Sunday’s game with the New York Jets.

Two other prominent players, Baltimore’s Terrell Suggs and Ed Reed, were fined $15,000 each for making contact with an official during the Ravens’ game in Detroit.

Of the three players, only Suggs was ejected. The Ravens’ B.J. Ward, who was ejected from the Baltimore-Detroit game, was not fined.

“I think my dad was more upset about the fine and mom was more upset because I’m not supposed to get angry on television like that,” Suggs said. Barber inadvertently hit umpire Butch Hannah in the eye during a scuffle with the Jets’ Kevin Mawae in the second quarter of the game. Normally one of the NFL’s solid citizens, the Pro Bowl cornerback said after the game: “It was two guys with their triple testosterone running high, acting like idiots.

Barber declined comment after practice Wednesday. His business agent, Mark Lepselter, issued a statement saying he and the Bucs cornerback felt the fine was excessive.

“Although this accidental incident was regrettable, Ronde was simply trying to remove the opposing player’s hands from his facemask,” Lepselter said. “There was no intent whatsoever to harm the on-field official and Ronde immediately apologized to Mr. Hannah.”

Bucs coach Jon Gruden also said Barber meant no harm.

“This should in no way symbolize what he is all about,” Gruden said.

The league said the fine was levied for “impermissible physical contact with a game official.” Suggs was fined for the same offense. He was called for roughing the passer by referee Mike Carey and was ejected after his face mask made contact with the bill of Carey’s cap.

“I owe my team big and I’m apologizing for not upholding our Ravens’ name,” Suggs said.

Reed, last season’s NFL defensive player of the year, was fined for grabbing an official and shoving him after an extra-point attempt. Ward was thrown out after attempting to intercede in the melee involving officials and Detroit players following the play.

AP-ES-10-12-05 1842EDT


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