On Friday, the NFL fined both New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and Washington tight end Vernon Davis for celebrations.
Davis was fined $12,154 by the league for shooting a harmless jump shot after a touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles.
The jumper was his signature during his time in San Francisco with the 49ers. The team even made a compilation of Davis getting buckets at the ends of touchdowns.
As far as Beckham goes, he was fined for taking his helmet off during the Giants’ win over the Baltimore Ravens.
Josh Brown, the Giants’ kicker, was arrested in May of 2015 and charged with fourth-degree domestic assault. He has admitted, not only to his team but in recently released documents as well, "I have physically, mentally, emotionally and verbally been a repulsive man." He also says, "I have abused my wife." With this knowledge, the team still expressed their support for Brown.
Brown’s ex-wife, Molly, told the police her ex-husband abused her more than 20 times. Despite this, the NFL only suspended Brown for one game, although the league’s domestic violence conduct policy calls for a six-game suspension at the very least.
Today, Brown was placed on the Commissioner’s exempt list, and will be paid while he’s not with the Giants.
These fines, and the Brown situation, led San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Torrey Smith to ask a valid question, and discuss what should be the greatest concerns of the NFL:
Celebrating a TD will get you fined but being an abuser can keep the checks coming in— Torrey Smith (@TorreySmithWR) October 21, 2016
Me tweeting that could get me fined but if I slapped my wife and no one saw it on camera I would be straight smh— Torrey Smith (@TorreySmithWR) October 21, 2016
Gotta start taking the things that are important serious....and be consistent with the investigation and punishment— Torrey Smith (@TorreySmithWR) October 21, 2016
It's disrespectful to the good men in the league that handle themselves the right way...you get punished for having fun but JB can get paid— Torrey Smith (@TorreySmithWR) October 21, 2016
As a person who witnessed DV growing up I don't understand how a man can do it...I may think his actions are a joke but the guy needs help— Torrey Smith (@TorreySmithWR) October 21, 2016
I hope he gets all of the help he needs while cashing checks every week— Torrey Smith (@TorreySmithWR) October 21, 2016
Smith’s argument is on point. End zone celebrations after touchdowns are harmless. The only thing they hurt is the ego of certain players, and even then, words on the field will have a very similar impact. The celebrations are also something that’s fun, and give players a means of expression.
The fact that the NFL had prior evidence was enough to give Brown a six-game suspension, but they didn’t do it. The Giants also re-signed him knowing what he did to his ex-wife, and have gone far in defending him despite his own admissions.
The NFL through its actions is more vigilant in punishing celebrations and equipment violations than they are on domestic violence.