The Queens Park Rangers captain was sent off against Hull City.
Barton, who had been booked for seven consecutive games, was this time sent off after appearing to strike Hull midfielder Tom Huddlestone below the belt...
It was the experienced midfielder's ninth red card of his career and it left QPR up against the odds to secure a desperately needed result at Hull.
In the end, the R's lost 2-1 despite a goal from Charlie Austin.
After the game on Twitter, Barton apologised to supporters but nevertheless defended and tried to explain his actions.
Young kid making his debut has made a good tackle. Couple of Hull players trying to get him sent off. My job as captain is to protect him.— Joseph Barton (@Joey7Barton) February 21, 2015
I'm gutted I got sent off. I've let my teammates down today and being someone who puts the team above everything else I'm gutted about that.— Joseph Barton (@Joey7Barton) February 21, 2015
I've apologised to the lads and would like to apologise to all QPR fans who travelled today.— Joseph Barton (@Joey7Barton) February 21, 2015
Barton's reaction on social media drew criticism from former QPR man Rodney Marsh.
The 32-year-old's antics suggest Barton could be reverting to the ill-disciplined player he used to be, contrary to his recent strides towards bettering his reputation.
Hull City's win, meanwhile, takes them up to 15th in the Premier League - four points above both QPR and the relegation zone.
The R's, while level on points with 18th-placed Burnley, are currently safe on goal difference. But they won't be if their captain continues to let them down the way he did at Hull.