20 Athletes Who Love Giving the Finger
Let's do a logic problem.
All human beings enjoy giving other human beings the finger when they are angry. All athletes are human beings. Therefore, all athletes enjoy giving other human beings the finger when they are angry.
Let's ignore the fact that the first premise might be flawed, thereby rendering the conclusion faulty. Instead, let's focus on some hilarious pictures and videos of athletes shooting everyone, from fans and opponents to coaches and photographers, the finger.
And if you don't enjoy it, well, this is for you.
This might be NSFW given some of the pictures, so keep that in mind.
Honorable Mention: Charles Barkley
Charles Barkley: everyone's favorite politically incorrect breath of fresh air on the television.
Honestly, one of the saddest aspects of the sure-to-be-lost NBA season is that we won't have postgame segments with Chuck.
Honorable Mention: Mike Ditka
Ditka is God.
I'm not sure what the repercussions were for this show of disdain, but God was fined $20,000 for flipping off fans at halftime and later grabbing his crotch while looking in their direction in 1999 when he was coaching the Saints.
Honorable Mention: Chuck Cecil
Go to the 0:56 mark on the video.
And here I only thought former Titans' defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil was signaling a Cover 1 to the defense.
Turns out he was flipping off the ref. Can you believe it?
Cecil was fined $40,000 for the gesture.
Honorable Mention: Joe Glenn
The video pretty much tells the story of this 2007 middle finger from Wyoming's coach Joe Glenn to Utah's head coach Kyle Whittingham after the Utes kicked an onside kick while leading 43-0 in the third quarter.
Attempting an onside kick with that sort of lead is weak sauce, but so is shooting the finger toward the other sideline and setting that sort of example for your team.
Honorable Mention: Bud Adams
And fined he was—a whopping $250,000 for his salute toward Buffalo fans after the Titans defeated the Bills in 2009.
Cortland Finnegan enjoyed it, as he mentioned in the ESPN piece linked above.
"I don't know if he did it, but I condone fun things," Finnegan said, according to The Tennessean. "If he was having fun doing it, then by all means, do what you do."
So there you have it.
20. A.J. Hawk
A Hawk flipping the bird.
Hawk was fined $10,000 for this gesture, which is totally ridiculous because it was an inside joke.
Problem is, it would seem his Packers teammates weren't in on the joke. From PFT:
"Packers cornerback Charles Woodson has been a teammate of Hawk’s for Hawk’s entire NFL career, and Woodson says that’s the first he’s ever heard of any such joke.
"'No, I had not heard about it,' Woodson told Jim Rome today. 'I don’t know that I’ve ever seen that. From what I heard it was some kind of inside joke but I have no clue. I don’t know who else knew about it either. I guess there were a couple people who knew about it but it caught everybody else off guard. So the joke’s on us I guess.'"
No, Charles—the joke is on Hawk's bank account.
19. Pat Burrell
Pictures are better when accompanied by song.
Turns out Pat was just sending a little, "I miss you, skipper" message to Terry Francona back in 2007. From Deadspin:
"That's Pat Burrell, who just planted a Daisuke Matsuzaka pitch in the bleachers. The exchange with his former manager Francona was apparently light-hearted and friendly, which is a little disappointing, as I was hoping this would be Burrell's new homerun celebration. Sort of like Sammy Sosa's kiss thing, except simpler and more direct."
18. Jose Canseco
Most of these pictures I will attempt to provide a back story for the middle finger. Context can go a long way, after all.
However, I think the life and times of Jose Canseco is all the context you need here. There doesn't need to be a reason for this middle finger—just being Jose Canseco is reason enough.
17. Larry Csonka
Look carefully at Csonka's (39) right hand as he poses with fellow running back Jim Kiick. What's the story there?
We go to Phin Phanatic, who interviewed the legendary runner:
"2. From George in Maine: In the 1972 SI cover with Jim Kiick, you two appear to be laughing, not just smiling. Your right hand is posed nicely, was that a message to anyone specifically or was that just having a little fun?
LC: That photograph was made in jest for my private use via an agreement with the photographer. Somehow it slipped through the censors and ended up on the cover of Sports Illustrated. It was an accident, it was not intended for anyone specifically."
Thus making this the most unintentionally hilarious magazine cover ever.
16. Byung-Hyun Kim
We get the following 2003 bird from Byung-Hyun Kim, and the context from the New York Daily News:
"Kim was booed during introductions last night at Fenway and responded with an obscene gesture. Kim, generally regarded as mild-mannered, raised his right arm, touched the bill of his cap, brought his arm down and raised it again, along with his middle finger."
As you might imagine, this happened in the postseason, where all of Kim's meltdowns seemed to take place.
15. Brock Lesnar
Don't worry—he did this at an actual sporting event as well.
"'I'm going to go home tonight and drink a Coors Light because Bud Light won't pay me,' said Lesnar, pointing at the logo of the presenting sponsor of the event. 'I'm going to sit down with my friends and family and hell, I might even get on top of my wife tonight.'
"As if that wasn't enough Lesnar continued with an entertaining post-fight rant that was better than any promo he ever cut while he was in professional wrestling.
"'Frank Mir had a horseshoe up his ass and I told him that a year ago,' said Lesnar, who refused to touch gloves or shake hands with Mir before or after the fight. 'I pulled that [expletive] down and I beat him up. Whooo!'"
Honestly, I'd be afraid to boo this guy in the first place.
14. Kerry Wood
Listen guys, Kerry Wood was just calling for a two-seam fastball when he was spotted doing this in 2008. (Unless you add them up, and throw the curve there?)
Wait a second, I know what he was calling for—the tried and true screwball.
Yup, that's definitely the sign for the screwball.
13. Sean Williams
Listen, we all know how seriously we want players to take the Rookies vs. Sophomores game. So it should come as no surprise that Sean Williams would flip off LaMarcus Aldridge in the 2008 game.
No, I didn't type that with a straight face.
12. Brian Giacomini
Louisville and Kentucky really don't like one another.
11. Andre Ethier
That was just his imitation of a Dodgers fan who ran into Frank McCourt at a bar.
Ethier was fined $2,500 for the gesture. I'm surprised McCourt didn't try to fine him $30 million or so.
It might have helped.
10. Louis Delmas
The Lions—not the league, mind you, which normally handles fines—fined Delmas $5,000 for his little gesture seen above last year.
Delmas was flipping off members of the Minnesota crowd. These days, I'm pretty sure Vikings fans are flipping off their own team.
9. Andrew Ference
The NHL fined him $2,500 for this incident, which is the equivalent of $2,543.13 in Canadian currency.
I'm here to educate.
8. Jake Plummer
When you lose $5,000 because you flip off your own fans in a game you ultimately end up winning, you're probably having a rough season.
In 2004, Plummer was having a rough season. From CBSSports:
"'I'm not a robot. I'm a man that has warm blood and sometimes it gets hot in there running through my veins,' Plummer said. 'You know people do things that they regret. As long as you can learn a lesson from it and stand up and be a man about what your actions were and move on, that's the true lesson you learn from it.'
"Plummer reached his hand behind his helmet and made the gesture upon reaching the bench after throwing a first-quarter interception in the 20-17 win over the Dolphins. The much-maligned quarterback has thrown six picks and no touchdowns in Denver's last two games. His 17 interceptions this season are the second most in the NFL."
7. Milton Bradley
It's never just fun and games with Milton Bradley—and no, he's not just scratching his head here or receiving a call on his Bluetooth earpiece.
"'If I was a musician, I'd be Kanye West. If I was in the NBA, I'd be Ron Artest,' the 31-year-old former Expo, Indian, Dodger, Athletic, Padre, Ranger and Cub said this week. 'In baseball, they’ve got Milton Bradley. I'm that guy. You need people like me, so you can point your finger and go, There goes the bad guy.'"
Turns out you were pointing the finger back at us as well, Tony Montana.
6. Chris Gardocki
The punter shouldn't flip anyone off, especially if it is opposing coach Bill Cowher.
Then again, if you play for Cleveland and you flip off the rival's head coach—twice, nonetheless—that will probably endear you to a fanbase pretty quickly.
Gardocki would end up getting fined $5,000 for this gesture in 2000—and a few years later, he would join the Steelers.
5. Joe Nedney
Kickers shouldn't give anyone the finger, especially if they are flipping off fans who are only booing them for sending a kickoff out of bounds. From USA Today:
"After Nedney made a 29-yard field goal, he booted the ensuing kickoff out of bounds. Nedney tossed his helmet and kicking tee in anger before sitting back on the bench.
"That's when a fan's obscene comment prompted Nedney to rub the back of his skull with his middle finger—an image captured by television cameras.
"'It was the culmination of a frustrating day for me,' Nedney said. 'Rather than taking a deep breath and counting to 10, I heard something that rubbed me the wrong way at the wrong time, and I made a mistake.'"
He was fined $7,500 for that 2007 mistake.
4. Bryan Cox
While Cox probably could have handled this a little bit differently, can you blame Cox for lashing back at the Buffalo fans in 1994?
Watch the video—it's a pretty crazy story. But in case the video goes down, here is the story from The New York Times:
"In 1993, while playing for the Dolphins, he was fined $10,000 for making obscene gestures toward Buffalo fans, whom he accused of throwing batteries and making racial epithets. He later sued the league, contending that fans had shouted racial epithets and that the league hadn't provided a 'workplace environment free from racial harassment.' That suit was settled when the league agreed to eject fans who use racial slurs, and the fine was lowered to $3,000."
3. Jack McDowell
We all feel this way about Yankees fans, Jack. Here's what happened back in 1995 (from the New York Daily News):
"But he does act like us. When Yankee Stadium was screaming at him the night of July 18, when he was walking toward the dugout after allowing the White Sox three homers and nine earned runs in 42/3 innings, when his shabby old team was in the process of securing 37 hits in a doubleheader sweep, McDowell turned vulgar. He did what most New Yorkers do when competing drivers honk. Only for him, 20,000 cars were honking.
"'At that point,' McDowell said over the weekend, 'my relationship with the fans wasn't going to get much worse than it already was. That incident actually helped set things straight between me and the fans, to let people know where I was coming from. I truly believe that once all the BS was put aside and everybody was done trying to make more out of that than it was, that's what came out of it.'"
2. Michael Vick
This 2006 gesticulating—toward his own fans, mind you—cost Vick a cool $20,000, half of which was a fine levied by the NFL and the other half Vick agreed to give to charity.
Thankfully for Vick and the Falcons, this would be the last incident in a long and fruitful career in Atlanta.
Wait, that's not right...
1. Brock Aleksich
(There doesn't seem to be a photo of Brock Aleksich, so I posted this video instead. Enjoy. Unless you're dumb.)
When you find a headline that reads "Butte Boxer Arrested During Match," you laugh. Then you decide you absolutely have to read the article.
This is what you find when you do. From the Billings Gazette:
"Police arrested 36-year-old Brock Aleksich after the second round of the Club Boxing match during Evel Knievel Days when he allegedly made repeated obscene gestures to the large crowd. Aleksich of Butte faces a possible misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct.
"Aleksich was boxing Bobby Moreno of Butte just after 9 p.m. in an outdoor ring at Galena and Wyoming, when many in the audience started chanting Moreno's name in the first round. During a break in the fight, Aleksich removed his gloves and made the obscene hand gesture to the crowd, according to the police report.
"In the break before the second round, officers on scene came to Aleksich's corner and warned him not to do that again or he would be arrested. Officers were concerned that his actions could cause the crowd to become rowdy and create a disturbance, according to the report.
"Police allege Aleksich made an obscene gesture to the crowd again during a break in the fighting in the second round."
There are no if's, and's or Buttes about it—boxing needs to wipe out such filthy gestures. It's a shame Aleksich got himself arrested—it sounds like the crowd wanted to see Moreno land a few punches flush. That's a really crappy way to end a fight. Aleksich must have had a brain fart.
These jokes stink. (I'm glad I'm not from Butte. It probably never ends.)