Chuck Cecil, Titans Defensive Coordinator, Fined $40,000 for Gesture
Cecil, the Tennessee Titans' defensive coordinator, has been fined $40,000 by the NFL for his one-fingered obscene gesture toward officials in the first half of a 26-20 loss to the Denver Broncos at LP Field in Nashville Sunday.
Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean reported the fine via Twitter Monday, and Titans coach Jeff Fisher confirmed the fine shortly thereafter.
Television cameras caught Cecil using his right hand to make the gesture when officials flagged his defense for a neutral zone infraction during the second quarter. The penalty gave Denver first-and-goal, and Kyle Orton tossed a 2-yard touchdown pass on the next play for a 7-0 lead.
Cecil called the gesture "inappropriate" in a statement released Monday night.
"I want to apologize to the NFL, organization, fans and my family for my gesture yesterday. It was inappropriate, and there is no excuse for that type of behavior under any circumstance," Cecil said.
Fisher said he was unaware of the incident until he got into his car following the game.
"Clearly, I'm speaking on behalf of the organization that kind of conduct on the sideline, any place for that matter, is inappropriate. The league has already dealt with the issue," said Fisher, who said the team planned no further punishment.
"Chuck's an emotional individual, and it was a heat of the battle thing and he got frustrated. He understands he's got to maintain his composure, and we move on. We've moved on."
Based on the NFL's recent history, Cecil appeared to get off easy. Titans owner Bud Adams was docked $250,000 last year after repeating making the gesture from his owners box and on the field while celebrating a victory over the Bills in November.
And Jets coach Rex Ryan was hit with a $50,000 fine for flipping off Dolphins fans during an MMA event in Florida in January.
Cecil was fined $20,000 last year after being flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct in December loss to the Chargers.