A Buffalo Bills fan has accused Bobby McCain of spitting on him and threatening to spit on a 13-year-old after the Bills’ 31-21 win against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. A day later, Brian Flores said the Dolphins are disciplining the safety “internally.”
The incident, which The Buffalo News reported Monday, was brought up to Flores at the coach’s news conference Monday at the Miami Dolphins training facility and Flores said he spoke with McCain earlier in the day.
“He and I have a pretty open dialogue,” Flores said. “I heard his side of the story and it’s unfortunate. I feel like he needed to handle that situation better. We’re going to discipline Bobby for that. We’ll handle that discipline internally, but situations like this — we’ve got to handle those situations and I would say, before I say that, we take those very seriously. There’s a standard that we’re trying to set here of professionalism, of the way we go about things. We need to live up to that standard and we’re going to, so I talked to Bobby and, again, I heard his side of the story, but we need to handle situations better really on the field.”
McCain later made a statement to reporters and said he regretted what happened in Orchard Park, New York.
“I regret the incident that happened with me and the fan yesterday after the game,” he said. “I wish I could’ve handled myself a little better. I spoke with Coach Flores today. We’re on the same page, and we’re just looking to move forward to Pittsburgh and move on with preparation.”
McCain also declined to say whether he expects to play next Monday against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“I’m just going to keep that between me and Coach Flores,” McCain said. “We’re going to keep that internal.”
Dylan Wentland, a season-ticket holder at New Era Field, said McCain first threatened to spit on a 13-year-old after the boy shouted, “You’re irrelevant,” at Miami players as they exited the tunnel and took the field. Scott Hammond, the father of the 13-year-old, told The News that McCain faked spitting at his son “five or six times.”
Wentland told The Buffalo News he then called out McCain — a video shows a fan telling McCain, “You’re a bad role model” — then didn’t interact with the defensive back at all throughout the course of the game. McCain then sought out Wentland after the game, Wentland said, and spit in Wentland’s face.
“Literally wound up, hocked and just spit right in my face while I’m standing there,” Wentland told The News.
The Erie County Sheriff’s Office is aware of the incident, The News reported, and is following up with the Bills and the NFL. Wentland’s telling of the incident is corroborated by other fans in the vicinity, although none of the 140 deputies from the Sheriff’s Office who staff games witnessed it, and McCain didn’t confirm anything happened beyond calling it an “incident.”
Flores didn’t delve into any specifics about McCain’s side of the story or a potential punishment. When asked whether a punishment from the Dolphins (0-6) could entail McCain missing playing time, Flores reiterated his plans to deliver punishment internally.
“Again,” he said, “that’s going to be handled internally.”