His defense? It was for a good cause.
The Bengals receiver said on the first episode of a new cable television show Tuesday night that he won't object if the NFL fines him for breaking the rules. Coaches and players are prohibited from using social networks 90 minutes before a game, during a game and shortly afterward.
The policy went into effect before last season. The only one to violate it until Sunday had been teammate Chad Ochocinco, who was fined $25,000 for tweeting shortly before and during a preseason game in August.
Owens' tweet was one of the subjects on the first episode of "The T.Ocho Show" on the Versus cable network.
"If I get fined for it, then that's cool," Owens said.
An NFL spokesman said the league was looking into it but had no announcement on Tuesday.
An hour before a 24-21 loss to Tampa Bay, the receiver sent a tweet from Paul Brown Stadium that he said was part of his work with a charity that helps children in Kenya.
"A lucky fan wearing my jersey 2day will get a signed football by Me & Ocho Cinco! My asst will pick U out!! Good luck!" he tweeted.
Owens said he intended to post the tweet earlier in the day, but he left his home late and forgot to take his cell phone with him. He said he had an assistant bring his cell phone to Paul Brown Stadium.
"I got the tweet out a little late," he said.
The Bengals were on the field warming up when the tweet was posted.
Twitter and other social networking sites have become popular with NFL players. Bengals coach Marvin Lewis also has a policy against players using social network sites while they're at the stadium.
Kevin Frazier, the moderator of the receivers' new show, introduced the tweet segment by saying, "That was wrong and I'm not making excuses for you," then gave Owens a chance to explain. Owens indicated he expects a fine from the league.
"It's not going to be the first thing that goes unappreciated for some of the noble things and charitable things that I do," Owens said.