If you follow the NFL, you’ve heard of this situation by now, as Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott celebrated a touchdown he ran in against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by jumping into a large Salvation Army kettle.
Elliott was penalized on the field for excessive celebration and was expected to be fined. In fact, his intention was to match the fine and donate it to Salvation Army. The NFL announced Sunday that Elliott, in fact, would not be fined for this celebration.
Two notable players; Odell Beckham Jr. and Leveon Bell, took offense to the lack of fine and called the NFL out. Odell first tweeted out
“That’s funny there’s no fine for that. I could only imagine if I was the one to do it. Just bein honest.”
Bell responded with two other tweets, one involving a case he and Steelers teammate, wide receiver, Antonio Brown were fined. The first tweet said
“lol hilarious, I feel the same exact way” with a link to Odell’s original tweet, the second was more direct “me & AB got fined for a handshake…………..A HANDSHAKE!”
The touchdown came after Elliott’s franchise-record-setting 13th touchdown of his rookie year. Elliott’s score broke Tony Dorsett’s team record for most touchdown runs by a rookie in Dallas history. The 2-yard run on third and goal gave the Cowboys a 10-3 lead in the second quarter.
The publicity surrounding the jump into the oversized kettle was worth at least $4 million in equivalent advertising exposure for the Salvation Army, according to Apex Marketing Group, a sponsorship evaluation firm.
The flag Elliott received for excessive celebration usually comes with a fine of $12,154. Though Elliott wasn’t fined, he has said he still intends to donate $21,000 to Salvation Army.
Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant didn’t see an issue with the celebration, saying the following:
“Why not let it be legal? We’re just having fun. Let’s not make it the No Fun League.”
When Elliott was asked if he’d jump into the kettle again, he responded that it was a one time thing, citing the reasons as the flag he got and the Cowboys coaching staff’s aggravated response to the move.
There has been nationwide debate over this. Some say there was a double standard shown and some say there wasn’t. Some have complained more about Goodell and some have called Bell and Beckham crybabies.
What do you think? Is the NFL showing a double standard?