Dolphin Randy Starks Apologizes for Flicking Off Team on Sunday

Dolphins defensive tackle Randy Starks has good reason to be upset about his back-up role. So when he shot a middle finger to the Dolphins bench during the Browns game on Sunday, many interpreted it as a not-so-secret message to the Dolphins coaching staff.

Starks now explains that it was just a joke, and apologizes for the incident.

The Dolphins slapped the franchise tag on Starks during the offseason, but only offered the two-time Pro Bowler a one-year contract extension. Starks perceived it as a dis, so he sat out some "Organized Team Activities" during pre-season, and he believes he was punished for doing so by being denied the starter role during Sunday's game.

Starks says the gesture was a joke intended for teammates and not a malicious message to coaches, but admits he could see how it seemed that way.

"Of course I regret it," Starks told The Palm Beach Post. "It's something I shouldn't have (done). It's something I was joking around with my teammates. Whatever consequences happen, I have to take it.

"It definitely got blown out of proportion, but the situation where I'm in, in terms of not starting, not being here, I can see how it could be misleading."

Commenting on the incident on Monday, head coach Joe Philbin joked that the gesture was aimed "probably at me, directly."

Starks was not fined by the NFL.

KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Kyle Munzenrieder