Videos by OutKick
Arthur Smith runs a tight ship — even for reporters.
The Atlanta Falcons head coach fined a beat writer $500 for missing the first two days of Training Camp.
As a joke, of course.
Smith opened Friday’s news conference by handing D. Orlando Ledbetter — a writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution — a letter scolding him for his absence.
And it sounds so official!
This letter will serve as notice that you have violated our Training Camp Rules and Article 42 of the NFL Collective Media Agreement Wednesday, July 26, and Thursday, July 27 by your unexcused failure to report to and absence from the first two days of Falcons Training Camp. Under the terms of Article 42, Section 1(b)(xi) of the Agreement, you are hereby fined Five Hundred Dollars ($500).
This is a violation of an important rule meant to jump start your return to play routine and meet with your fellow writers who missed you deeply. I am hereby acknowledging your absence and your are being fined for your actions.
Please be advised, any future violation of rules or failure to follow team policy will be subject to an escalated fine amount.Arthur Smith
“I think I’m going to have to start a gofundme page!” Ledbetter tweeted.
Arthur Smith is entering his third season as the Falcons head coach. He previously spent 10 years with the Tennessee Titans — most recently as their offensive coordinator.
Atlanta is 14-20 under Smith and failed to reach the playoffs in both of his first two years.
Needless to say, the Falcons will look to Smith to help them emerge from mediocrity in 2023.
Let’s hope he’s as committed to that goal as he was to this reporter bit.