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: November 29, 2006, 10:27:25 PM

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) -- Michael Vick was fined $10,000 by the NFL and agreed to donate another $10,000 to charity for an obscene hand gesture toward Falcons fans following last weekend's loss to New Orleans.

"I broke a rule and now I'm paying the price," Vick said Wednesday. "The good thing is I get to donate a portion of it to charity."

Vick rushed for 166 yards in Sunday's 31-13 loss, just 7 yards short of his own NFL record for a quarterback.

But that didn't make up for a dismal performance by the Falcons, who dropped five passes and were booed loudly following their fourth straight loss. Vick showed his unhappiness by making the gesture with both hands as he walked off the Georgia Dome field.

"I can't really say whether it's fair or not," Vick said. "But the league makes the rules and I broke the rules. It is what it is -- 20 Gs. I shouldn't have done what I did."

Falcons owner Arthur Blank said he planned to meet privately with Vick to discuss the incident.

"Michael knows his actions were inappropriate and he has taken responsibility for them, apologized to our fans, and been fined by the NFL," Blank said. "We know, through all his time with the Falcons, that this is not characteristic of Mike and not the way he represents our club."

Vick hasn't decided which charity will get his $10,000, but seemed eager to put the matter behind him.

He issued a statement after the game apologizing for his actions, and he went before the media on Monday to again say he was sorry. The quarterback explained that he heard an especially disturbing insult from a male fan as he was heading for the locker room.

"He just said certain things I won't say in front of this camera," Vick said. "It was very inappropriate. I was down, upset, frustrated. I just did one thing I've never done through all the games I've ever lost, no matter how frustrated I've been after a game. I don't know where it came from, but the people who know me know that's not me and that's not my character."

Vick's younger brother, Marcus, made a similar gesture to fans at West Virginia who were heckling him during a 2005 college game.

Marcus Vick had numerous problems during his career at Virginia Tech and was eventually kicked off the team. He now plays for the Miami Dolphins.

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Pewter Report  >>  Boards  >>  The Red Board (Moderators: 3rd String Kicker, PRPatrol)  >>  Topic: Vick fined $10,000 for flipping the bird « previous next »

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