FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — New York Jets coach Rex Ryan says it’s a “personal matter” and declined to talk about a “foot-fetish” report posted by the sports website Deadspin that show four videos of a woman who bears a close resemblance to Ryan’s wife, Michelle.
The videos show a woman displaying her toes to an off-screen cameraman who, in one video, sounds a lot like the coach. The two are having an intimate chat about her feet.
During his news conference Wednesday, Ryan declined several times to discuss the situation.
“I understand I’m going to get asked this question frontways, sideways, backways, and all this, but it is a personal matter,” he said.
When asked if the NFL might look into the situation, spokesman Greg Aiello said the league considers it “a personal matter.”
Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum said in a brief statement that he and owner Woody Johnson have met with Ryan. They also are calling it a personal matter, adding that the coach has their “full support.”
This isn’t the first time the Jets have turned up on Deadspin this season.
In October, the site reported that Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre sent racy text messages and photos to a former game hostess while he was the Jets’ quarterback in 2008.
The NFL is still investigating the allegations.
According to Deadspin, the woman in the video goes by the handle “ihaveprettyfeet.”
A still photograph from one of the video clips was splashed across the front of the New York Daily New and showed a woman with her feet hanging out of an SUV. She is approached by someone who is not on camera and he tells her that she has “really beautiful feet.”
The other videos show the woman sitting on a couch, having a drink, reading a book and sitting on a porch and rubbing her feet.
“My wife’s beautiful,” Ryan said when asked about his wife. “We’ve been married for 23 years. She’s awesome.”
A few weeks ago, before the Jets played New England, Ryan compared his wife to Giselle Bundchen, who is married to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Ryan said he’s “also married to a supermodel.”
“I don’t want to say that I probably shouldn’t have done that,” Ryan said.
While the Jets have a big game coming up against the Bears in which they can clinch a postseason berth if the win, the focus again is on the team’s off-field issues.
“I’m going to be ready to play Chicago,” Ryan said. “We’re going to be ready to play Chicago. I am ready. This is my job and I’m focused on the job at hand.”
Most players also declined comment on the issue, but star cornerback Darrelle Revis supported his coach.
“You hear stuff around the building and whatever it was, I haven’t even seen the video, you hear stuff,” Revis said. “Foot fetish? Whatever. I mean, that’s his wife. At the end of the day, that’s his wife and he can do whatever he wants with his wife. It’s not like he’s out committing adultery or anything negative.”
Last week, the team suspended an assistant coach indefinitely for tripping a Miami player and ordering inactive players to form a sideline wall.
Sal Alosi, the Jets’ strength and conditioning coach, was suspended without pay for the rest of the season, including the playoffs, and fined an additional $25,000.
The Jets were investigated by the league in September after a female reporter, Ines Sainz of TV Azteca, said she felt uncomfortable in the team’s locker room. The Jets developed a workplace conduct program, underwritten by owner Woody Johnson.
In January, Ryan was fined $50,000 by the team after he was caught on a cell phone camera flipping his middle finger at a fan during a mixed martial arts competition in Sunrise, Fla. The image of Ryan quickly spread across the Internet and made its way onto the back pages of New York tabloids. He apologized the next day in a statement, calling his actions “stupid and inappropriate.”