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Person familiar with penalty: QB Cam Newton fined for abusive conduct toward official

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Referee Jerome Boger (23) calls an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty on Carolina Panthers' Cam Newton (1) during the second half of an NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)The Associated Press

A person familiar with the penalty says the NFL has fined Panthers quarterback Cam Newton $21,000 for abusive conduct toward a game official.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on Thursday on condition of anonymity because the league hasn't announced the fine.

Newton shouted at and bumped referee Jerome Boger in the fourth quarter of Carolina's penalty-plagued 17-6 victory over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.

Newton apologized after the game, saying "the words that I said during the game were very disrespectful and I apologized to (Boger) during the game, but I'm going public and apologizing again. It was something in the heat of the moment."

Boger said he didn't feel the bump was enough to warrant an ejection because it "wasn't of a malicious nature."