NFL won’t fine Ezekiel Elliott for Salvation Army celebration

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Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott drew a 15-yard penalty when he scored a touchdown and celebrated by jumping into an oversized Salvation Army kettle on Sunday night. But he won’t be punished beyond that.

The NFL confirmed today that Elliott won’t be fined for the celebration, which drew a lot of attention on social media — including from the Salvation Army, which appreciated Elliott’s gesture.

On the one hand, the NFL’s decision only reinforces the idea that the league’s fines and penalties for celebrations are wildly inconsistent: Some weeks, players who weren’t penalized on the field get fined for a celebration. Other weeks, players who were penalized don’t get fined.

On the other hand, this seems like a bit of common sense from the NFL: Elliott was just having fun and giving some attention to a cause the NFL supports. That ought to be embraced as a good thing, and not punished.

70 responses to “NFL won’t fine Ezekiel Elliott for Salvation Army celebration

  1. SO…as long as your celebration draws attention to a charitible cause you are ok?

    There you go players…just make sure your celebration includes something from the March of Dimes, American Cancer Society, Salvation Army, etc…etc…etc…

    BTW I think its a great idea.

  2. This is fine… But DWILL wearing pink past November for a SERIOUS cause is still wrong??… NFL… y’all need to look at things in other perspectives….

  3. But did he do his “feed me” thing while he was in there?

    In any event, not even a Cowboys fan but I don’t see the harm here.

  4. I thought this was hilarious. My fiancé even asked, “they didn’t flag him?” after it happened (they did…you couldn’t see the flag in the shot). She knows practically nothing about football, but even she knows that 1. three humps are too many, and 2. that Zeke would be flagged. Sure, it’s a definite penalty–but I agree with not fining him.

  5. I think the Cowboys were totally classless for taking him and the ball back after donating both into the collection pot.

  6. I thought it was great so I’m sure there was someone that was “outraged” by his leap into the Donation Pot.

  7. What might appear to be an innocent celebration to the untrained eye is in reality an endorsement of behavior that this League has no tolerance for. While jumping into the Salvation Army Kettle as if he were a monetary donation may seem like harmless fun, Ezekiel Elliott is actually implying that it is ok to use the human body as a form of currency which is promoting prostitution and to a degree sex trafficking. The League has and will always be against such reprehensible displays hence the 15 yard penalty.

    -Dean Blandino.
    NFL Vice President of Officiating

  8. celebrations are no big deal to me. however the league seems to want to make a big deal of them, when they feel like it.

    anyway, looking like Elliott is going to come in 2nd to Talib in the free pass department this year

  9. Leave it to the NFL to be inconsistent.

    He said he would match the fine with a donation to the salvation army and now the league doesn’t follow through.

  10. I still think get rid of the excessive celebration penalty. Delay of game for minor infractions and unsportsmanlike for major ones. Mostly just let them go unless they actually delay the game or are unsportsmanlike.

  11. sportoficionado says:

    that celebration was classic, loved it.

    classic in that it’s been done a million times before.

  12. Like what the player did.

    But the league not fining him while arbitrarily fining others shows the double standard at work.

    They should stop throwing flags/fining any player for celebrations that don’t substantially delay the game or are not outright taunting.

  13. Why wasn’t Hill fined for celebrating with a prop – terrible towel

    Seems when Cincinnati violates the rules on field they get away with it

    Must be some kind of Bland-Brown collusion

    Burfict cleared from concussion ….more bad looks

  14. The NFL won’t fine him for one simple reason – it’s bad press. If there’s no evidence of the deflation of footballs but the public wants the NFL will act.

  15. This was an all time great celebration. It was creative and brought attention to a great cause. I am kinda surprised after all these years zeke was the first to think of this especially with TO in Dallas. Very nicely done.

  16. Good. If you don’t want players to celebrate while using a prop, then don’t put a prop right behind the end zone. Classic celebration. Heck, the charity should sell mini bucket with arm and leg holes and hope that Dallas fans place their infants inside of them for Halloween just like some parents put their infants in pumpkins.

  17. The NFL shouldn’t fine Zeke for that celebration. In fact, fans love the emotion and passion in the in-game celebrations — and allowing it entertains and attracts many more casual fans.

    The NFL is all about growing the revenue pie – and by not being the grumpy old “get off my lawn” “ENFORCER” would seem to be yet another effective means to do just that. It generates interest, buzz, media response, etc. Let the players play — and give them a decent amount of latitude in celebrating a high impact play.

  18. Way to copy Terrell Owens Zeke. He knew jumping in the kettle was less likely to draw a fine then dumping the football in.

  19. NFL needs to lighten up on celebrations altogether. It’s all part of the fun, and the officials are wildly inconsistent in enforcing penalties for them. Was Jeremy Hill flagged for using the terrible towel? I would think that would be same as Zeke, using a prop to celebrate.

    Simple answer: put a “celebration” clock on, just like a play clock that allows teams X number of seconds to celebrate on the field. As soon as that runs out, start the 25 second play clock. If teams celebrate too long and cost themselves a delay of game on the XP/2-pt try, that’s their own fault. Otherwise let them do what they want.

  20. I thoroughly enjoyed the celebration but how is it that Jarvis Landry got fined for celebrating by spinning the ball but Zeke doesn’t get fined for jumping in the kettle and Packers don’t get fined for Lambeau leaping?
    The NFL has it’s favorites.

  21. Of course not…you’re talking about the Cowboys…”America’s Team”!
    Whether or not he was “bringing attention to a good cause” or just bringing attention to his self, this is more hypocrisy from the NFL who treats all rules as “discretionary” and is probably the leading reason fans are losing respect for the game and confidence in the officials.

  22. NFL is just like real life. It’s ok to not follow the rules if you can make up a legitimate excuse. If Brady had done this, he would probably have been fined $100,000.

  23. (throws down challenge flag)

    I’m challenging this call.

    They blew it. Should’ve done it so Ezekiel could donate to the SA – could’ve required that too – and then the NFL could’ve decided to match it.

  24. One of the worst changes to NFL football was the celebration penalty. They just scored a TD, fans want to see them celebrate.

  25. I’m glad there will be no fine. That said, I’ll bet Jerrah was on the phone to Roger right after the game ended, and Roger knows which owners hold his puppet strings.

  26. I thought this was kind of funny, but I feel like Ezekiel Elliott is turning into Cam Newton. He celebrates after everything… He stares right into the camera and celebrates after every first down. I guarantee this guy is going to pout and whine when things go badly, just like Cam Newton.

    I don’t care about celebrations after TDs.. go crazy, it shouldn’t matter. But after every first down?? This guy needs to come down to earth like his shirts need to come down to his waist.

    The Cowboys are this year’s Panthers.

  27. revelation123 says:
    Dec 19, 2016 10:40 AM
    One of the worst changes to NFL football was the celebration penalty. They just scored a TD, fans want to see them celebrate.

    There’s a large demographic of old white conservatives who complain loudly that players just don’t hand the ball off to the ref like ole Barry Sanders used to.

  28. It’s likely a reason they don’t want to fine him is because he jumped in a kettle associated with a charity.

    It would make the NFL look bad from a charity PR standpoint if they fined him for that.

    If it was instead a kettle for just about anything else, that would likely draw a fine.

  29. Mara to Goodell: “We should suspend him the remainder of the season for that”

    Goodell: “I don’t think the other owners would go for that, we already hid your wife beating punter and only got him a 1 game suspension. And your team tampered with air pressure, and your team used illegal radio communications”

    Mara: “Ok, don’t suspend him, and we will call it even…”.

  30. Zeke jumps in a kettle and people think it’s cute, but if a player stands at midfield with his arms open looking at the sky everyone gets bent out of shape.

  31. Big can of worms. How many players are now thinking how they are going to promote their own charities after they score? Usually it will be self promotion masked as a charity

  32. Funny how so many fines have been levied on players wearing special shoes for charity causes during games.

    Double standards are getting worse and worse by the week with this idiot league.

  33. The problem the NFL has here is that there is no way to describe in an objective, unambiguous way the difference between a mean-spirited, unsportsmanlike and obnoxious celebration (like mooning the crowd or dancing on the opposing team’s symbol at the 50 yard line) and a spontaneous joyful expression (like Elliot’s Salvation Army Pot leap).

  34. I want Brady to jump into a Salvation Army bowl when the Patriots score this weekend. Please Tom, this your chance to tell Roger to go you-know-what!!!

  35. Rest assured that JJ made his feelings known after the game. Roger is smarter than you may think he is…lol….If he had fined Zeke, you can bet it would not come out of Zeke’s pocket and all heck would have broken loose, with the ‘grinch’ at Christmas 🙂

    As far as the “torn ACL/MCL” comment…..Zeke would be far more likely to do that when hurdling all the defenders he has this year..Never mind, he was a state hurdling champion!

  36. Number 1 on Letterman’s Top 10 things you didn’t expect to read on Twitter list:
    “The NFL has confirmed that Ezekiel Elliott will not be fined for jumping into an oversized Salvation Army kettle”

  37. jjackwagon says:
    Dec 19, 2016 9:23 AM
    SO…as long as your celebration draws attention to a charitible cause you are ok?

    There you go players…just make sure your celebration includes something from the March of Dimes, American Cancer Society, Salvation Army, etc…etc…etc…

    BTW I think its a great idea.

    Well…,D’Angelo Williams was fined multiple times last year for wearing “Breast Cancer Awareness” pink during games not designated as pink games by the NFL.

  38. $14K for winding up to throw a pitch, but an MVP/Rookie of the Year candidate using a charity display as a prop… no charge.

    Snow angel? Depends on the officiating crew.

    Taking a quick knee in prayer is fine, the Nestea Plunge is not because it’s “going to the ground”.

    Lambeau Leap and Panthers handing footballs to kids – A-OK, but OBJ taking off his helmet ‘too soon’ after a touchdown – bad.

    Every player can run 10 yards further down field and signal first down. But don’t ever touch any part of the goal post.

    I agree with Shannon Sharpe this morning – make one celebration rule and make it clear. No grandfathered celebrations… if one prop is illegal, they all are… no sexual/suggestive body movement… everything else is ok unless it’s targeted at the opponent.

  39. Free publicity for the Salavation Army. Seriously, before Zeke did that, how many paid any attention the display. Now it’s front and center.

  40. This is why fans think the way toward God=del and his NFL fines. NFL goes after who they choose, this was planed out from the beginning. I’m not against celebrations and all but it shows Godels’s lack of consistent fines on celebrations. If I was ANY player fined this week I would have my lawyers standing at the office of the all power one in New York.

  41. so dumb & immature .. not sure why these players think we came to see them act like a fool.

  42. People are so obstinate in thinking the NFL is systematically inconsistent. If your celebration is sexual (humping the air), violent (throat slitting motion, shooting finger gun) or self congratulatory showing up an opponent you are flagged. If you celebrate spontaneously with teammates in an unchoreographed way (high fives, back slapping) or point to sky (god, grandma, santa), or leap in stands or hand the ball to a crippled cancer kid you are fine. Sportsmanship is not hard to understand except by a generation that grew up with gender fluidity and “medical” weed. No wonder the eastern hordes are once again pressing against our frontiers. Nancys.

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