Monday, December 17, 2007
Five Falcons fined for uniform violations over Vick-related support
By Len Pasquarelli
ATLANTA -- Five Atlanta Falcons players have been fined a total of $47,500 by the NFL for uniform violations that stemmed from demonstrations of their support for banished quarterback Michael Vick during the team's loss to the New Orleans Saints on Dec. 10.
Several hours before the game, Vick was sentenced to 23 months in prison for his role in an illegal dogfighting ring that was centered on property he owned in Virginia.
Cornerbacks DeAngelo Hall and Chris Houston, wide receiver Roddy White and tight end Alge Crumpler each were fined $10,000. Wide receiver Joe Horn was fined $7,500.
It is not yet known if any of the players will appeal the fines.
Hall brandished a poster of Vick as he ran onto the field for pregame introductions. He later taped the poster to the back of the Falcons' bench, but it was subsequently removed by a member of the club's public relations department.
Both Hall and Crumpler wore the message "MV-7," Vick's initial and uniform number, on their eye-black patches for the game.
After White scored on a 33-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter of the 34-14 loss, he pulled up his game jersey, with an assist from Horn, to unveil a T-shirt that read "Free Mike Vick."
It is not clear why Houston was found to have violated the uniform policy.
Senior writer Len Pasquarelli covers the NFL for ESPN.com.