ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Warren
Sapp was fined $75,000 on Thursday by the NFL for his confrontation
with game officials that led to his ejection last week.
Sapp avoided a suspension, however.
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
Defensive end Derrick Burgess was also fined $25,000 for
verbally abusing an official during the same sequence.
The punishments were announced after the Raiders' media
availability on Thursday, so neither player nor coach Lane Kiffin
was available to comment. Both Sapp and Kiffin said previously they
were not worried about a possible suspension.
The altercation came late in the first half of last Sunday's
49-11 loss at Jacksonville, when the Raiders were called for four
unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in one sequence. The dispute
began when Jaguars right tackle Tony Pashos was flagged for illegal
use of his hands to the face.
Officials initially said the Raiders declined the penalty, and
the Jaguars lined up for a 43-yard field goal attempt. Officials
then said Oakland would accept the penalty, making it third-and-20
from the Raiders 35.
Jacksonville's offense went back on the field, but a few seconds
later, the officials called the first unsportsmanlike conduct
penalty on Sapp, who said Wednesday he was angry the officials
declined the penalty without checking first with the Raiders.
That gave the Jaguars an automatic first down, and Sapp started
jawing at officials. Sapp and Burgess were both flagged for
unsportsmanlike conduct penalties during the arguments. Sapp kept
talking and then drew the third penalty and the ejection. Sapp had
to be restrained by teammates and defensive line coach Keith
Millard after being kicked out of the game.
Referee Jerome Bogar said after the game that Sapp was ejected
for bumping umpire Garth DeFelice. Sapp denied making any contact
with an official.
Sapp has had run-ins with officials in the past. Before a game
against Washington in 2003, Sapp, then with Tampa Bay, reportedly
bumped an official. Four days later he was fined $50,000 for what
the league called "repeated violations of abusing officials."
The Raiders received an extension until Friday afternoon
from the league to sell out the game and avoid a local TV blackout.
Five of Oakland's seven home games this season have been broadcast
locally. ... WR Tim Dwight (hamstring) was limited in practice and
LB Jon Alston (calf) missed practice.