Ochocinco tweets apology for in-game tweeting

CINCINNATI (AP) - Chad Ochocinco has apologized for his costly tweets.

The NFL fined the Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver $25,000 on Tuesday for violating its restrictions on using social media sites before, during and after games. He’s the first player disciplined under the policy adopted one year ago.

He wouldn’t discuss the fine with reporters on Wednesday, but addressed it on his Twitter account, where he apologized to commissioner Roger Goodell.

“Dad again I apologize 2 you for my tweet, as my father I understand you’ve to discipline, can we try timeout next time please :)” he tweeted before practice.

In an earlier posting, he apologized to the league and said he wouldn’t do it again. He also noted that it was the first time his tweeting had cost him money.

The NFL adopted a policy last August allowing players to use social media networks, but not around game time. Players, coaches and football operations employees can use Twitter, Facebook and other social media up to 90 minutes before kickoff, and again when traditional media interviews are finished after the game.

They’re not allowed to use cell phones, computers or other electronic equipment during the restricted time.

Ochocinco met some of the Philadelphia Eagles during warmups before their preseason game on Friday night in Cincinnati. He then tweeted the names of players he met and added, “I love prw-game warm up.” The message was posted less than 90 minutes before kickoff.

Ochocinco played the first half along with the other Bengals regulars and got his helmet knocked off after he was hit while trying to make a catch. When he was out of the game, he tweeted: “Man Im sick of getting hit like that, its the … preseason … 1day I’m gone jump up and start throwing hay makers.”

The flamboyant receiver has regularly tested the NFL’s restrictions during his 10-year career, resulting in an array of fines from the league.

Last season, he was fined $20,000 for taking a dollar bill onto the field as a pretend bribe while officials were reviewing one of his catches. He was fined $30,000 for donning a mock poncho and sombrero next to the bench following a touchdown catch in another game.

He has been regularly fined for on-field celebrations, which he has toned down. They’ve included a river dance, pretending to perform CPR on a football, and using an end zone pylon as a golf club. He also donned a mock Hall of Fame jacket on the sideline.

Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said Wednesday that he has even tighter restrictions on players using social networking at Paul Brown Stadium.

“I think the social part for them is different now,” Lewis said. “Things have changed. It’s what they like to do, it is how they communicate. I don’t think you can sit there and act stupid and act like it doesn’t go on, because it does. But when they are here to do the meetings and so forth, that is our time here. You have time when you are not here to do what you need to do.”

Lewis noted that Ochocinco’s teammates are accustomed to his antics.

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