Four Ravens -- linebacker Bart Scott, cornerbacks Samari Rolle and Chris McAlister and receiver Derrick Mason -- have been fined for violating league rules "prohibiting the abuse of game officials," the NFL announced today.
Scott was fined $25,000 for verbally abusing game officials and throwing an official's flag into the stands near the end of the Ravens' 27-24 loss to the New England Patriots on Monday.
Rolle, McAlister and Mason were fined $15,000 each for "publicly questioning the integrity of the officiating," the NFL said.
"This is about the importance of sportsmanship and respecting the integrity of our game," said Ray Anderson, the NFL's executive vice president of football operations. "We do not tolerate inappropriate conduct between teams and game officials. This includes reminding game officials that they are to conduct themselves at all times as professionals in their dealings with players, coaches, and other club personnel."
Anderson went to the Ravens' Owings Mills practice complex yesterday and spoke with Scott and Rolle before issuing the fines.
"Last Monday night's game was well officiated," Anderson said, "and it is the obligation of both players and coaches to maintain proper respect for game officials at all times."
In addition to prohibiting physical contact with game officials, league rules also bar team personnel from verbal or other non-physical abuse of officials and from public criticism of their integrity.
On his conversation with Anderson, Scott said, "We both came to the conclusion that I made a bad decision, but he understood the emotion and took that into consideration the emotion and the moment. It's definitely something for me to learn from and grow from and be an advocate speaker for great conduct."
Ravens coach Brian Billick said after today's practice that the team would not argue the fines.
"First off, to intimate that the Patriots are given some kind of favoritism is ridiculous. It's just not the case," Billick said. "Our league works very, very hard to make sure the officiating is top-notch and unbiased. I was probably remiss after the game in not counseling the players better about the frustrations that I knew existed."