With the ever-changing rules in the NFL, the league has been called by many players, coaches, and fans as the “no fun league.”
But that reputation has now changed to the “not fair league” after the latest blunder by the organization.
The NFL did more harm than good by deciding not to fine Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott for his touchdown celebration — jumping into a Salvation Army kettle — last Sunday. That celebration helped spike online donations by more than 60 percent according to the charity, but also showed the inconsistencies of the NFL and how it handles player fines.
With no punishment coming down for Elliott, several star players hit back at the league by calling out the double standard that exists.
New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. tweeted, “I would have been fined for doing the same thing,” referencing Elliott’s celebration.
That's funny there's no fine for that. I could only imagine if I was the one to do it. Just bein honest .
— Odell Beckham Jr (@OBJ_3) December 19, 2016
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell joined the fun by tweeting out that he and Antonio Brown were fined for their choreographed handshake against the Indianapolis Colts earlier this season.
me & AB got fined for a handshake…………..A HANDSHAKE!
— Le'Veon Bell (@L_Bell26) December 20, 2016
But the debate shouldn’t be about what should or should not be fined, but the lack of consistency surrounding fines.
On Wednesday, Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson was fined by for violating the league’s team uniform policy.
“Got fined for Wearing these Monday night,’ Jackson wrote on his Instagram account. “Special edition #DJX clearly they Team colors. smh’”
After seeing the post, Beckham responded saying, “Don’t worry I got fined $18k for Craig Sager cleats that were auction off the cleats to the highest bidder and donating the proceeds to his cancer research. 18k like it’s nothin’ to them, no warning to take them off or anything, noTHING!.”
Beckham, who is known for his one-handed catches and special customized cleats, honored former TNT reporter Craig Sager who recently lost his battle with cancer. Beckham’s cleats were bold and colorful, just like Sager’s suits, and did his best to honor one of the most respected reporters in professional sports.
After the game Beckham had the cleats auctioned off to the highest bidder with the proceeds going towards cancer research.
But the NFL didn’t care as Beckham was hit with a $18,000 fine.
“There’s double standards everywhere,” Beckham told reporters on Tuesday. “It’s just how life is.”
Last year, Pittsburgh teammates DeAngelo Williams and William Gay were given fines for violating the league’s uniform policy.
Williams was fined for wearing eye black with pink ribbons printed on them after his mother passed away from breast cancer. Gay wore purple cleats to help highlight Domestic Violence Awareness month after losing his mother in an act of domestic violence.
The NFL has a double standard on its hands and needs to establish some order. If the league is going to fine players for the most ridiculous things, they need to apply it across the board for everyone.
Elliott’s decision to jump in the Salvation Army kettle was hilarious and the cherry on top was that it brought in more donations to help a good cause. The thought of even a possible fine for that is disgusting as well as the many celebrations and customized equipment that’s intended to help raise awareness for important issues such as domestic violence, etc.
Instead of giving players fines, the league should step up and show its support if it ever wants to get out of being called the “no fun and not fair league.”