New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton said that he was merely having "good playoff fun" when he demonstrated Minnesota's "Skol" clap to celebrate his team's late lead in Sunday's divisional-round game.
A series of photos posted on social media Monday night depicted Payton using the Vikings' signature gesture, moments after Wil Lutz made a 43-yard field goal with 25 seconds to play to give the Saints a 24-23 lead.
Payton was asked about the gesture at a press conference on Tuesday.
"There was just a group of fans. It was good playoff fun," Payton told reporters on Tuesday.
That fun ended abruptly for Payton and the Saints, with rookie safety Marcus Williams' missed tackle allowing wide receiver Stefon Diggs to score on a 61-yard touchdown as time expired. The play sent the Vikings to the NFC Championship Game against the Philadelphia Eagles and -- by extension -- ended the Saints' season.
Payton came under fire for another gesture earlier this season, as the coach appeared to make a choking sign toward Atlanta running back Devonta Freeman in Week 14.
The move could be construed as rubbing additional salt in the wound after the Falcons squandered a 25-point lead in Super Bowl LI. The Patriots scored 31 unanswered points to post a 34-28 victory over the Falcons on Feb. 5.
Payton would say a few weeks later that his emotions got "the best of me."
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