Channing Crowder says he was spat on
BALTIMORE -- Miami Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder exploded in the locker room and accused Baltimore Ravens fullback Le'Ron McClain of spitting in his face during the third quarter of Sunday's game at M&T Bank Stadium.
Crowder unleashed a profanity-laced rant about McClain and the officials after the Ravens beat the Dolphins 26-10. Crowder got so heated that Dolphins left tackle Jake Long urged a team spokesman to stop Crowder from speaking.
Le'Ron McClain spit in my face. He spit in my face. ... And if he ever comes to Miami, he's got to see me.” -- Dolphins LB Channing Crowder
In the Ravens' locker room, meanwhile, McClain denied the allegation, but Baltimore receiver Derrick Mason then tore into Crowder.
"I just got told not to talk about it, so I can't talk about it," Crowder replied when first asked about his wild skirmish with McClain in the third quarter. Then he proceeded a beat later anyway. "But Le'Ron McClain spit in my face. He spit in my face. That's some real ho s---. So if you talk to him, go tell him. And if he ever comes to Miami, he's got to see me."
Crowder said when he complained to the officials, they told him they didn't see McClain spit at him.
"Then they said something about they let [Dolphins linebacker] Karlos Dansby get away with a face mask the play before," Crowder said. "Who the f--- cares? A guy just spit in my face! I don't give a damn about Karlos pulling somebody's face mask. Like they didn't see [Dolphins quarterback] Chad Henne get hit twice when he slid. Yeah, a little Stevie Wonder and Anne Frank."
Asked what the Anne Frank reference meant, Crowder said "Who was that? Is that the blind girl? Helen Keller ... I don't know who the f--- Anne Frank is. I'm mad right now. F--- it. I'm not as swift as I usually am.
"That's the first time I've ever been spit in my face in my life. And that's the worst thing you can do to a man as another man, spit in somebody's face. Why would you do that? Why would you try to? Because you're scared of me? Really? Spit on me and then walk away real fast and let your team protect you? That's what he did."
"Hopefully, Roger Goodell look at the film and do something about it," Dansby said following the game. "If he don't, we're gonna have to handle it like men, but for you to spit in a guy's face and then walk away, that's a coward move."
Crowder added McClain was "soft" and had been cut-blocking him throughout the game.
McClain rebuffed Crowder's claims.
"We got into a little head-butt competition, but no spit, man," McClain said. "Probably me talking, I don't know. But all the spitting and all that ain't my game. I play ball in between the whistles.
"I guess he's a little frustrated. That's all that is."
Mason was more colorful in his response to Crowder, one of the NFL's most infamous trash-talkers. Earlier this week, Crowder referred to the 36-year-old Mason as "the old man," prompting Mason to respond back by claiming, "[Crowder] was still peeing on himself when I was playing football."
Following Sunday's game Mason again called out Crowder.
"You have to be able in this sport to be able to back up what you talk, and for some reason this guy every time he says something he doesn't back it up," Mason said. "He's not a marquee player. I don't think they even want him on this team, but they have no one to replace him. So he has to be there.
"He's in the game, and he's getting knocked down. He's getting pushed out of the way. The guy is horrible. Honestly, the guy is horrible. He's probably a good guy. Not taking that away from him, but he's horrible. He's not a good football player. Honestly, he needs to go back and watch the film and humble himself and not say anything."
Tim Graham covers the AFC East for ESPN.com