<
>

NFL fines Porter $10K for comments to Winslow

The NFL has fined Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Joey Porter $10,000 for remarks that he made about Cleveland Browns tight end Kellen Winslow following the Dec. 7 game between the teams.

Joey Porter Porter

In the aftermath of Pittsburgh's 27-7 victory, Porter twice used a derogatory term for gay men when asked about Winslow's playing style. Pittsburgh players were particularly upset over a late-game hit that Winslow made, and Porter, in one milder moment of his postgame interview, assessed the tight end as "soft."

Earlier this week, Porter apologized in general for his derogatory comments, but declined to extend an olive branch to Winslow. Porter also acknowledged he would likely be sanctioned by league officials.

"I guess how we use that word freely, me growing up using it, I didn't think nothing of it like that," Porter said. "Like I said, I apologize to anybody I offended on it. I really didn't mean to offend nobody but Kellen Winslow. Pretty much, that's it about that."

This marks the second time this season that Porter's mouth has earned him a league fine. The eight-year veteran was fined $15,000 by commissioner Roger Goodell for his remarks made during an Oct. 29 loss at Oakland, in which Porter allegedly threatened a game official.

Porter has appealed that fine, but a hearing has not yet been convened on it, and probably won't be until after the season. It is not known if Porter will appeal the latest fine.

A three-time Pro Bowl performer, and one of the NFL's premier outside linebackers, Porter has always been an outspoken player, and an occasional lightning rod. Porter is in the next-to-last year of his contract with the Steelers and his base salary for 2006 is $3.85 million.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. To check out Len's chat archive, click hereInsider.