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Chad Ochocinco has been fined $20,000 by the NFL for flashing a dollar bill at an official during a replay challenge -- a joking attempt at what the Bengals receiver referred to as a "bribe" -- in last week's Cincinnati-Baltimore game.
arter of last Sunday's 17-7 Bengals victory, Cincinnati quarterback Carson Palmer completed a 15-yard pass to Ochocinco. Baltimore challenged the call, contending that he was out of bounds, and the Ravens won the challenge.
While the play was under review, Ochocinco held a $1 bill at his side, but the official appeared to dismiss his antic.
"I was just being me," Ochocinco told the NFL Network after the game. "I wasn't going to do it for real."
According to a statement released through league spokesman Ray Anderson, Ochocinco was disciplined for violating a rule that "prohibits use of abusive, threatening or insulting language or gestures toward game officials. He was also in violation of Rule 12, Section 3, Article 1 (f) of the Playing Rules which prohibits possession or use of extraneous objects that are not part of the uniform during the game on the field or sideline."
The NFL also cited Ochocinco using the word "bribe" in his postgame comments to reporters.
Elaborating on the league's decision, a high-ranking NFL official who requested anonymity told Mortensen "essentially [in Ochocinco's postgame comment] he made an admission against his own interest. The integrity of the game is critical to us. Making light of bribing and gambling will not not be taken lightly. His action in itself merited the fine but he acknowledged by his comments that he knew what he was doing."
The person who handed Ochocinco the dollar bill was an independent contractor hired by CBS to assist with the game's broadcast. A league source said that individual was admonished but would not be prohibited from further working for a network because he was not specifically aware of Ochocinco's stunt.
In a letter to Ochocinco, Anderson said "The very appearance of impropriety is not acceptable. Your conduct was unprofessional and unbecoming an NFL player."