Frustration is boiling over in the Tennessee football program.
On Saturday, that was evident on the field when Vols defensive back Rashaan Gaulden was captured giving the double bird in the direction of the Alabama Crimson Tide student section.
Gaulden’s gesture came as the Vols were in the midst of a 45-7 thrashing courtesy of the Crimson Tide.
The gesture came after linebacker Daniel Bituli returned an interception for a 97-yard touchdown that put Tennessee on the board.
Following the game, Gaulden apologized for letting his emotions get the best of him.
“I would like to issue an apology to the University of Tennessee and the University of Alabama for my gesture after the pick-six by (Daniel) Bituli,” Gaulden said, via the Associated Press.
“That remark that I showed was very out of character. That’s not how my parents raised me. That’s not how a leader of the team should show their emotions on the field. I really, sincerely apologize to the student section at Alabama for disrespecting them.”
The gesture drew a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Vols head coach Butch Jones also commented on Gaulden’s penalty.
“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,” Jones said. “But, he knew that. We spoke about it, and he feels awful about it. It’s one of those things of overall just being a mature football team. But, again, that’s something that we don’t accept in this program and he understands that.”
Tennessee now sits at 3-4 on the season.
The Vols will look to bounce back on the road next weekend against the Kentucky Wildcats.