FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Santonio Holmes’ account to New York Jets coach Rex Ryan of a flight incident in which he was accused by an airline of not turning off his iPod corroborates an Allegheny County police statement.
Ryan said Saturday that Holmes told him he turned off the iPod when asked Thursday night, but fell asleep with the ear buds still in on the Colgan Air flight from Newark Liberty International Airport to Pittsburgh International Airport.
Holmes told Ryan on Friday that the flight attendant came by again and upon seeing the ear buds still in, said he never turned off the iPod. Holmes insisted he had already done so.
“He literally handed the ear things to the lady sitting beside him, and she said, ‘Yeah, you can’t hear anything. They’re off,”’ Ryan said Holmes told him.
Authorities at Pittsburgh International Airport filed a report after the flight attendant claimed Holmes failed to follow regulations as the plane was landing around 9 p.m. Holmes waited for police officers to question him at the gate, but he was not arrested or charged.
“He was asked to remove his iPod (at one point), in which he complied,” the police said in a statement.
“When Santonio told me, I totally believe him,” Ryan said. “It’s just one of those things, I guess, but I believe Santonio and I’m looking forward to him being a Jet and playing here.”
Holmes traveled to Las Vegas on Friday to watch the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Shane Mosley fight Saturday night along with some of his Jets teammates.
“Thanks for the support but some people just want to make their name blow up!” Holmes said on his Twitter page Friday afternoon. “Well congratulations!”
The troubled but talented Holmes was traded by the Steelers to the Jets on April 11 for a fifth-round draft pick. Last week, he acknowledged taking missteps during his four-season career in Pittsburgh, but said in a message on his website he is looking forward to a “clean start” with his new team.