Two Oakland Raiders defensive players are a bit lighter in the pocketbook this week; according to Josh Dubow of the Associated Press, defensive tackle Warren Sapp was fined $75,000 by the NFL for his confrontation with game officials that led to his ejection last week. Specifically, the league said Sapp was punished for “physical and verbal actions toward game officials that drew an unprecedented three unsportsmanlike conduct penalties and ejection from last Sunday’s game.”
Raiders defensive end Derrick Burgess was fined $25,000 for verbally abusing an official during the same sequence. The altercation itself took place last Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars when the Raiders were flagged for 4 unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in one sequence; the episode began when Jaguars offensive tackle Tony Pashos was flagged for illegal use of the hands to the face. Officials on the field originally said that the Raiders declined the penalty and the Jags lined up for a 43-yard field goal attampt; however, the same officials then said that the Raiders would accept the penalty, making it third-and-20 from the Oakland 35.
The Jaguars’ offense went back onto the field, but a few seconds later, the officials called the first unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Sapp – who said Wednesday that he was angry because the officials declined the penalty without first checking with the Raiders. That gave the Jags an automatic first down, and Sapp continued to jaw at the officials; Sapp and Burgess were both given unsportmanlike conduct penalties during the arguments. After the game, referee Jerome Bogar said that Sapp was ejected for bumping umpire Garth DeFelice; however, Sapp denied bumping into said official.
Not surprisingly, Sapp is no stranger to run-ins with officials; Back in 2003, Sapp, then a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, reportedly bumped an official; 4 days later, he was fined $50,000 for what was described as “repeated violations of abusing officials.”