Rashaan Gaulden celebrates first Vols TD in nearly a month by giving Alabama fans middle finger
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Tennessee nickelback Rashaan Gaulden celebrated the Vols' first touchdown in nearly a month by flipping two middle fingers to Alabama fans.
Daniel Bituli ended the Vols' streak without a touchdown when he returned an interception 97 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter of Saturday's game against Alabama, trimming the Crimson Tide's lead to 28-7 with 6:03 remaining in the third quarter.
The Vols had gone 189 minutes, 22 seconds since last scoring a touchdown against Massachusetts on Sept. 23.
Gaulden ushered Bituli into the end zone and celebrated by flipping his hand gesture to Alabama fans.
That earned the Vols a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that was enforced on the kickoff.
"That's unacceptable," Jones said. "That's something that will be dealt with internally in our football program. But that's not who we are. That's not what we're about."
Gaulden apologized to UT and Alabama after the game.
"That (gesture) that I showed was very out of character," said Gaulden, one of the team's best players. "That's not how my parents raised me. That's not how a leader of the team should show their emotion on the field, and I really sincerely apologize to the student section of Alabama for disrespecting them."
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Gaulden said he realized his foolishness pretty quickly.
"I just walked to the sideline, and I'm like, 'What am I doing?'" Gaulden said. "Just a lot of frustration going up to that. I just know that's not how my parents raised me. They raised me to be grounded, humble. I just feel really bad for disrespecting them and the University of Tennessee and Alabama, as well."