Browns' Quinn denies involvement in New Year's incident

Updated: February 14, 2008, 9:42 PM ET
Associated Press

CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Browns quarterback Brady Quinn denied he was involved in an altercation on New Year's Day in which a man claimed on an emergency phone call that Quinn directed a slur at him.

On a 911 call early Jan. 1, Seth Harris told Columbus police that Quinn was with a group at La Fogata Grill and that they were insulting gays outside the restaurant.

"There's a group of football players, Brady Quinn from the Browns ... and he's trying to cause a fight," Harris told the operator. "His friends are yelling at all of the gay people that are around here."

Harris said he had a verbal exchange with Quinn.

In a statement released Wednesday through the Browns, Quinn said he had dinner on New Year's Eve with his girlfriend and other couples but that nothing else happened.

"At no time that night was I involved in a verbal or physical altercation, nor did I have any interaction with the police," Quinn said in the statement. "I want to be clear that I did not engage in any of the alleged conduct, nor did I make inappropriate comments to anyone.

"Any allegations to the contrary are either untrue or the result of misidentification."

However, Columbus police said when they arrived Quinn was arguing with Jason Thompson, 32.

Quinn's friends encouraged him to step back from the situation and he did, police spokeswoman Amanda Ford said.

She added that police did not hear any comments made at the scene and couldn't confirm Harris' statements on the 911 call.

"We don't know what that argument was about," Ford said.

After Quinn backed off, Thompson turned his aggression on officers and he was arrested and accused of disorderly conduct, Ford said.

The Browns issued a statement backing Quinn, their former first-round draft pick who played in just one game last season as a rookie.

"We are aware of the alleged comments made by Brady Quinn, which the Browns take seriously," the club's statement said. "After speaking with Brady and his representatives we find these reported accusations without merit."

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press