Raiders' Brayton takes responsibility

Raiders defensive end Tyler Brayton avoided suspension but was fined $25,000 by the NFL for kneeing Seahawks tight end Jeremy Stevens in the groin during Monday night's game in Seattle. But Brayton apparently won't have to foot the bill by himself. Teammate Warren Sapp, who called Stevens a ''punk'' for his role in the incident, plans on chipping in to help Brayton pay the fine.

''I told him off the top that I didn't think he should be suspended at any point,'' Sapp said Wednesday. ''Any fine that he's got going, I've got something on it for him.''

Brayton and Stevens got involved in a fracas late in the fourth quarter of the Raiders' 16-0 loss to the Seahawks. Stevens, who earlier in the game had been hit with a personal foul after head butting Oakland safety Stuart Schweigert, was seen on replays kicking Brayton squarely between the legs in the groin. The normally mild-mannered Brayton then retaliated by grabbing Stevens around the shoulders and kneeing him back.

Referees only saw Brayton's reaction and promptly called an unsportsmanlike penalty. Brayton was also ejected from the game while Stevens was sent to the bench by the Seattle coaching staff.

On Wednesday, Brayton issued a public apology for the incident and said he was embarrassed by the entire episode.

''Ninety-nine times out of 100 I'm not going to react in that situation,'' Brayton said. ''First of all, I feel like I let a lot of people down. I embarrassed myself, my family, the Raiders organization, the entire NFL. For that, I apologize. I kind of allowed my personal frustrations and emotions get the best of me. My actions are inexcusable, provoked or unprovoked. I also apologize to Jerramy Stevens and Seattle Seahawks. Doesn't matter what the situation was, I had no right to do that.''

Stevens did not get off free, drawing a fine of $15,000 himself.

Sapp, who has drawn his share of fines from the NFL during his 12-year career, said Stevens should have gotten a heftier punishment.

''(Brayton) reacted like any of you would have reacted if you were out there in a situation with this punk,'' Sapp said. ''This dude has been a piece of shit since he got in this league and it's never going to change about him. I really don't understand what he was trying to get done but you don't do that. Then you could see from Mike Holmgren's reaction, he knew what it was. He never let him back in the game. When your own coach won't let you back in the game, he knows it, we know it. "You're just a punk. You're just out there trying to get something started. He did the same thing with Schweigert when he dropped the ball. He jumped up and head-butted him. You can just look at this guy's track record, it's just what it is. Something's got to change about it but he's going to get his, guaranteed. This league has a great way of humbling you and he'll get his, no doubt about it.'

' Brayton expressed hope of speaking to Stevens about the incident but said it's an issue he wishes to put behind him.

''I feel like it was a situation where my own personal frustrations were at a place where I was a ticking time bomb, so to speak,'' Brayton said. ''It was just one little thing that set me over the edge and still there's no excuse for that. You've got to keep your self-control and your cool in all situations. Everything happened so fast. At that point, I was just so angry with everything and it was just like that one little thing set me off.

''You know, I've watched the tape. It is what it is. It's ugly from me end no matter what you look at it. Bigger man would have walked away and I'm disappointed in myself for that. But every time I look at the TV, I just cringe. That's not the type of player that I want to be.''

Notes: A team spokesman said a limited number of tickets remain available for Sunday's game against Denver. The Raiders have sold out their first four games ... Wide receiver Jerry Porter was a notable no-show at Wednesday's practice, but Shell said it was due to personal reasons. Porter is expected to return in time for Thursday's practice ... Running back LaMont Jordan was bothered by back pains and held out of Wednesday's practice, as was left guard Barry Sims. Sims (abdominal strain) is all but certain to sit out the game against Denver.


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