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Jets’ Crowell tries to flush away TD ‘wipe’ controversy

October 3, 2018
In this Sept. 20, 2018 photo New York Jets running back Isaiah Crowell (20) celebrates after scoring a touchdown during an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns in Cleveland. Crowell has been fined $13,369 by the NFL for his crude touchdown celebration. After scoring a touchdown against his former team on Sept. 20, Crowell took the football and wiped it against his rear end before firing it into the stands. It made for a viral moment that has been replayed countless times since New York's loss to previously winless Cleveland, and earned Crowell a scolding from coach Todd Bowles. (AP Photo/David Richard)

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Isaiah Crowell entered the press room at the New York Jets’ facility and promptly excused himself to use the bathroom.

No, you can’t make this stuff up.

The running back, of course, has been in the headlines lately for his butt-wiping touchdown celebration at Cleveland on Sept. 20. It drew a penalty — as well as the ire of coach Todd Bowles — and resulted in a fine of $13,369 by the NFL for unsportsmanlike conduct .

“I talked to Todd about what happened on the field and I told him it wouldn’t happen again,” Crowell said Wednesday.

But Crowell also received an endorsement deal out of the whole mess, with pictures of him holding boxes of a toilet paper alternative for men splattered all over social media by the running back and the company Dude Wipes. It provided a bit of a questionable look — especially since Bowles had been so angered by the crude celebration.

“As far as the endorsement deal, I don’t want to get too much into that,” Crowell said. “I didn’t mean any disrespect to anybody. I’ve got a lot of respect for everybody that’s in the building and, I mean, that’s really how I feel.”

He repeated those sentiments when asked if he thought he was making light of the situation by accepting an endorsement deal as a result.

“It won’t happen again,” Crowell said. “We talked about the on-field stuff and it won’t happen again. We’re moving forward after that.”

It all started when Crowell scored against the Browns, for whom he spent his first four NFL seasons before signing with the Jets in the offseason. After reaching the end zone, Crowell took the football, wiped it against his rear end and then fired it into the stands.

Bowles spoke to Crowell to make it clear that he didn’t approve of his player’s actions. Crowell insisted after the game that he wasn’t trying to send a message to the Browns. He was only having fun, he said, but felt bad about the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty his celebration drew.

“The play itself won’t happen again on our field,” Bowles said. “I can’t do anything about anybody’s endorsement deals off the field, but on this team it won’t happen.”

Bowles said he didn’t consider benching Crowell at the time because he didn’t see the celebration until watching the game film. When asked if he was disciplined by the team, Crowell said he was punished by the NFL with the fine — but wouldn’t say whether he would appeal.

“I mean, that’s my business, right?” he said.

Crowell, who leads the Jets with 171 yards rushing and four touchdowns, just wanted to flush away the chatter about his TD wipe.

“I really don’t want to keep talking about the endorsement deals,” he said. “I want to keep my focus on the upcoming games, if I can.”

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