CFL player fined for MJ tribute

Updated: July 2, 2009, 6:18 PM ET
Associated Press

TORONTO -- The Canadian Football League fined Toronto Argonauts receiver Arland Bruce for "excessive actions" during his tribute to Michael Jackson after scoring a touchdown.

Bruce was fined an undisclosed amount, the CFL announced Thursday.

After scoring on a 21-yard pass that put Toronto ahead 6-0, Bruce removed his helmet, shoulder pads and uniform top, then laid down in the end zone. Bruce said he was honoring the memory of Jackson by pretending to be buried.

Referees gave Bruce two objectionable conduct penalties for his actions in the game, which the Argonauts won 30-17 on Wednesday night.

"It's not always easy to draw that line, but when you remove your equipment to lay down and delay the game, like he did, that's where we draw the line," the CFL said.

The team said it supported the league's ruling and noted Bruce apologized at a team meeting on Thursday.

Toronto coach Bart Andrus said "next time around he will celebrate in an appropriate manner."


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press