A Trading-Card Ruckus

The trading card featuring New York Jets runningback Leon Washington has become a sudden collector's item. The athlete posed for his Topps card with a gesture that is being interpreted by some as an obscene one.

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SCOTT SIMON, host:

The trading card for Leon Washington of the New York Jets has become a sudden collector's item. The rookie running back posed for his Tops company photo in his green Jets jersey with his arms folded across his chest and the fingers from each hand shooting down. Mr. Washington says he was merely forming an E to salute the east side of his hometown of Jacksonville, Florida. He denies he was making an obscene gesture with his middle finger. I don't want to send that sort of message across to the fans or anybody like that, he told reporters. I'm not that kind of person. That's not even my character. Because of that gesture, Mr. Washington's card is being sold for $100 on eBay. The east side of Jacksonville must have an awful lot of fans.

Meanwhile, Tops has offered fans the chance to return their cards and receive another, but who'd give away $100?

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