Double standard? Beckham says he was fined for Sager cleats

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When Ezekiel Elliott jumped into an oversized Salvation Army kettle after scoring a touchdown on Sunday night, the NFL decided not to fine him, even though it was a clear violation of the rule against celebrating with a prop. The league figured Elliott deserved a break because he had drawn attention to a good cause.

Odell Beckham wants to know why he can’t get a deal like that.

Beckham said after the NFL declined to fine Elliott that he didn’t think he’d be given the same benefit of the doubt. And now Beckham is grousing that the NFL fined him for his own attempt to draw attention to a good cause on Sunday.

During the Giants’ game against the Lions, Beckham wore multicolored cleats in tribute to the late broadcaster Craig Sager, who was known for his multicolored suits and who died of cancer last week. Beckham plans to auction off the cleats, with the proceeds going to cancer charities.

Beckham revealed on Instagram that the NFL fined him $18,000 for those cleats.

The NFL has clear rules about the shoes players can wear during games, and Beckham clearly broke those rules. He can’t be surprised the NFL fined him.

But the NFL has clear rules about celebrations, too, and Elliott clearly broke those rules. The NFL cut Elliott some slack for his celebration, so why can’t they cut Beckham some slack for his shoes?

There’s a widespread perception around the NFL that discipline is inconsistent and arbitrary, and double standards abound. The NFL’s decision to fine Beckham for supporting a good cause, while not fining Elliott for supporting a good cause, will do nothing to change that perception.

102 responses to “Double standard? Beckham says he was fined for Sager cleats

  1. Of course there is a double standard. That’s been obvious for years. However, Beckham lost the benefit of the doubt when he had his tantrums last season.

  2. Double standard or not, players should realize there’s a rule against wearing custom-made cleats. It’s simple. Players who flaunt the rules to wear these cleats, celebrate excessively, etc. are only hurting their teams with their selfish behavior.

    I can see why the league imposes so many strict rules about it–if it didn’t, the players really would take advantage. We’d be better off with no custom cleats. My general rule is: if Antonio Brown would do it, don’t do it.

  3. OK, let’s be fair. Zeke gets his $11k fine for celebrating, and in return the Giants will actually face a fine and penalty for covering up spousal abuse for at least 2 seasons and colluding with the league on a laughable 1 game suspensionfor Josh Brown.

  4. “around the NFL that discipline is inconsistent and arbitrary, and double standards abound”. Why would the discipline handed out off the field be any different than how the NFL officiates the game between the lines? Inconsistent and double standards is how I feel with most games I watch.

  5. “There’s a widespread perception around the NFL that discipline is inconsistent and arbitrary, and double standards abound. The NFL’s decision to fine Beckham for supporting a good cause, while not fining Elliott for supporting a good cause, will do nothing to change that perception.”

    =====

    I don’t think discipline is consistent, which is kind of amazing considering how rigid and structured the NFL is in just about every other area.

    That all being said, Does Beckham ever stop whining?

  6. The League imposes uniform restrictions because they receive a boatload of money from apparel companies. Beckham is right, there is a double standard and if he points out problems or other issues, this is still America, not Amerika, so he should not be penalized for speaking out about anything. (You just wish he were on your team! 🙂 )

  7. I’m absolutely sure you use the same logic in these stories when one of your children rats out another of your children in order to avoid punishment themselves.

  8. Difference is intentional vs spontaneous. OBJ had the cleats made with the intention of wearing them, planning to break the rules. Elliott’s TD celebration appeared to be spontaneous, any prior planning depended on scoring a TD in that end zone.

  9. While Zeke was never told specifically not to jump into an oversized Salvation Army kettle (dumb, I know), there was plenty of history to suggest that wearing custom cleats during any game in which the league cannot profit from it, was a fineable offense.

    Why complain that you aren’t the first player to be given a free pass on this?

  10. Beckham is just a clown. He’s only drawing attention to himself. Why are we constantly reading about him, and most of the time it doesn’t have anything to do with helping the N.Y. Giants win football games? The Giants have a two time super bowl MVP QB on their roster, and we read about this guy’s side shows, more than we do the QB. Craig Sager wasn’t about breaking rules, so I’m not happy that this perpetual rule violator wants to attach himself to Craig. Not cool.

  11. Beckham problem is that he hasn’t given them reason to give him a pass. Amazing talent, but he keeps doing things to get I trouble. Blasting officials won’t get them to give him the calls. Breaking rules – even stupid ones – isn’t going to have the NFL take their fit off the gas.

    Shut up and play football.

  12. How about not wearing the shoes and just giving $18,000 to a cancer fund. Nope, you have to make it all about YOU, wearing the shoes YOU know will get fined, then selling the shoes that YOU wore.

  13. If you need an explanation as to why there a dress code let me direct your attention to Cam’s Elmer Fudd purple pimp hat.

    Just stop and think what the field would look like if the kids were allowed to dress themselves. Think Adam Sandler Big Daddy.

  14. “There’s a widespread perception around the NFL that discipline is inconsistent and arbitrary, and double standards abound. ”

    More like TRIPLE standards. If Beckham were a Patriot, the fine would have been 7 figures and he’d have gotten a four game suspension.

  15. Two different things all together. Antonio Brown was told he couldn’t go back into the game unless he changed his cleats. He also knew he was going to be fined for wearing unauthorized cleats. He wanted to honor Muhamad Ali and others so he did it. It’s a choice. The other is a T.D. celebration. Granted you are not suppose to use any props, so it should have been a flag no doubt. It’s not a consistent rule in the NFL but it’s just one of many. None of it is a double standard exclusive to OBJ. It’s just an inconsistent rule.

  16. “There’s a widespread perception around the NFL that discipline is inconsistent and arbitrary, and double standards abound.”

    That’s only because it’s true. You need to get with the post-reality program.

  17. Uniform rules that go beyond helmet/jersey/pants are stupid. Yes, they’re the rules, but there’s no good reason a guy can’t wear whatever gloves, socks, shoes (within safety limits), and mouthguard they want. None.

  18. “Double standard or not, players should realize there’s a rule against wearing custom-made cleats. It’s simple. Players who flaunt the rules to wear these cleats, celebrate excessively, etc. are only hurting their teams with their selfish behavior.

    I can see why the league imposes so many strict rules about it–if it didn’t, the players really would take advantage. We’d be better off with no custom cleats. My general rule is: if Antonio Brown would do it, don’t do it.”
    _________________________________________

    Likewise there is a clear rule about celebrations with props, where’s the fine?

  19. Elliot should have been fined for using a prop to celebrate a TD. I can’t say for certain the Cowboys get special treatment from the commissioner but it certainly seems like nothing heavy handed ever comes down on them from the league.

    As for Beckham and the shoes, the NFL should allow all players to display personal messages and endorsements for a good cause on a specific part of their uniforms. That article can be shoes and/or gloves because neither changes the actual uniform. That way the NFL gets to preserve their precious identical robots/March of the Wooden Soldiers look and the players get to express issues on their minds and hearts.

  20. OBJ got fined for consistently being a douche bag. If he needs it made any plainer I don’t know how to help him. Maybe if he stops being such a douche, he won’t get fined any more.

  21. OBJ is a punk. That’s why he will never get the benefit of the doubt again. He’s still living off that one catch.

    Getting that silly mess on his head would go a long way in helping people take him seriously. Until then, he’ll only be viewed as a knucklehead.

  22. Doesn’t matter if you agree with him or not, he has a point.

    Rules are rules, he broke them, and so did Elliott. Both should have been fined. Good cause or not.

  23. These guys who wear cleats to support a ’cause’: Establish a set fine ($25,000?), which is deducted from the player’s salary and sent directly to the cause. win, win, win…

    And they can still auction off the shoes if they wish.

  24. Roger Goodell is a Goober. Plain and simple. The NFL has become like NASCAR. They are making up the rules as they go along. And they don’t enforce the rules consistently. Either its a penalty or it aint. There is no in-between! Eziekiel Elliot didn’t get fined because he’s a member of the Cowboys. Double standard Roger strikes again!

  25. The Cowboys have a way better spin machine than the Giants do. Simple as that! The Cowboys, Jerry Jones specifically, took what Zeke did and made it all about The Salvation Army immediately and Jerry dared them to fine Zeke for doing it when he brought so much attention to a good cause.
    OBJ is always doing something to bring attention to himself. Whether its wearing cleats that he’s not supposed to, fighting with others, hugging the kickers net, crying, etc….
    It gets old after awhile and people begin to just seem him as an attention seeker like his mommy didn’t pay enough to him when he was a kid.

  26. There are two sets of penalties in the NFL. One for the Patriots and one for everyone else. Ask Tom Brady.

  27. If you violate the uniform code and get fined – you violated the code. Doesn’t matter if someone else got away with it.

    Now – I think the rules about the shoes are stupid and the NFL really needs to rethink some things but complaining that “Other cars were speeding too” to the judge about your ticket doesn’t get you off.

  28. It’s not a double standard, there is no standard at all. The NFL is out of control but what would expect from a bunch of boneheads in the league offices? Certainly not the brightest bunch of people.

  29. the nfl will never be consistent. they fix games by hiding behind their inconsistencies.
    WWNFL
    They Decide

  30. NFL started this mess with their dumb Pink October. But anyway…
    Elliot WAS penalized. And there’s a difference in that the relaxed cleat rules for one week was for organized charities. Beckham just wore fancy shoes and “says” he’s going to auction them and donate the money. That may sound ok but if players start wearing whatever they want just because they say they’ll auction it later, who is going to later check that all the money does indeed go where it’s supposed to and that it really is a charity? (looking at you, Adrian Peterson). If players want to do something for a charity, they can give their own money or do a few off-field events for them.

  31. Don’t really care for OBJ. Think he’s a tool. But he’s right. NFL (aka., Roger) throw darts for fines. Much like the last 8 years in the White House, rules only apply to certain people in certain situations. Why bother?

  32. I would be more worried about getting my team to the playoffs–O’della’s giants haven’t clinched a spot–instead of worrying about another man’s pocket? O’della is a drama queen, only seeking attention–bet money she didn’t even know who Craig Sager was.

  33. Bottom line, Elliot should have been fined. But Odell is acting like he is the ONLY one getting fined- typical cry baby mentality. Everyone gets fined all the time for ridiculous things, elliot was just a one off case. Lets get over it. And i couldnt care less about either the giants or cowboys so i dont have a dog in this fight.

  34. Beckham could have just donated to cancer charities anonymously and honored Sager in a different way.

    Beckham chose to wear the cleats because he knew this would happen. He could not wait for all the attention.

  35. Beckham is breaking the rules on a weekly basis. of course he’s not getting the benefit of the doubt, regardless of how dumb these rules and penalties are.

    The Salvation Army received a MASSIVE boost in donations, at Christmas, due to Elliott’s celebration. The NFL would look horrible for fining him.

  36. Check out Golden Tate’s instagram page… he also wore custom Sager shoes, as you can find in some of the photos from that game.

    Although Tate wore the team’s colors… I wonder if OBJ would’ve been okay if they were the team colors. Even with just silver honolulu blue, tate’s shoes were appropriately bedazzled to honor Sager.

  37. This one is easy one was a spur of the moment act the other a premeditated violation of the rules….you can forgive a spur of the moment incident unless it happens again, premeditated violation dress code for the entire game can not.

  38. Here’s my take on OBJ. If you’re not a Giants fan, most likely you hate or at least dislike him somewhat. Although would like nothing more than to see him play for your team.

  39. “There’s a widespread perception around the NFL that discipline is inconsistent and arbitrary, and double standards abound.”

    It’s not a perception, it’s a fact. The NFL makes it up as they go along.

  40. 6superbowls says:
    Dec 22, 2016 9:30 AM
    Don’t really care for OBJ. Think he’s a tool. But he’s right. NFL (aka., Roger) throw darts for fines. Much like the last 8 years in the White House, rules only apply to certain people in certain situations. Why bother?

    ******************************************************
    Well, actually this isnt like throwing darts, EVERY player who has been outside the uniform rules has either been made to change or has been fined if they refused. The NFL already had a week where they let players wear custom cleats for their favorite cause. Claiming that the cleats were a tribute to Sager sounds more like an excuse to wear cleats he wasnt allowed to wear….unless there was something on the cleats identifying Sager as the reason for wearing them.

    TD celebrations pentalties are not absolute, they are subjective and it depends on the ref…..this one decided it was a penalty and the Cowboys lost 15 yards. Elliott’s celebration clearly pointed to the charity (OBJ’s cleats were not clear) and the NFL would have looked horrible for fining Elliott, so they did the right thing…..for the NFL. Had they fined him it would have looked bad.

  41. Goodell isn’t making any friends and soon enough, you’ll see enough owners start stoking the fire to get him out of there.
    Im a Pats fan so we don’t even need to get started on that man.

  42. The man is a whiner but he’s right. Maybe if Russell Wilson or some other player made the observation. It’s still valid.

  43. No player can jump into the stands without it being a penalty and probably a fine…… unless you are a Green Bay Packer.

    There is a lot of this crap around the league so why waste your time crying about it?
    I have never had my attention on what color of shoes or gloves a player is wearing.

  44. ANYONE even associated with the Giants this season, has no business complaining about excessive punishment. Instead be grateful for all the gifts you’ve been given. SMH

  45. offensivegestures says:
    Dec 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    OK, let’s be fair. Zeke gets his $11k fine for celebrating, and in return the Giants will actually face a fine and penalty for covering up spousal abuse for at least 2 seasons and colluding with the league on a laughable 1 game suspensionfor Josh Brown.

    BWHAHAHAHAHA.. Coming from a Cowboys fan? Pot, meet Kettle.

  46. ktoast says:
    Dec 22, 2016 9:45 AM

    The Salvation Army received a MASSIVE boost in donations, at Christmas, due to Elliott’s celebration.
    ———————-

    They did? All because a guy jumped in a kettle?

  47. Would love to see a side by side video of the Jones’s reaction in their luxury suite when Elliot jumped into the Salvation Army bucket compared to when Odell ran through their defense like they were standing still on his 61 yard TD the week before.

  48. Hey dummy! Brady got suspended 4 games and NE lost 2 picks and $1M simply because they played on a cold day.

    The Vikings and Panthers played on a cold day and got warning letters. The Steelers played on a cold day and Goodell said, “Nothing to see here!”

    The Browns’ GM got suspended 4 games for illegal communications. The Giants used headphones and dared Goodell to punish them. What happened? Practically nothing.

    KC lost a pick or two for tampering by doing something that’s always happened and is still happening. The Jets owner tampered with Revis on national TV in front of millions. He paid his tiny fine with the loose change in his couch.

    The point is, Goodell plays favorites and doesn’t even try to be discrete about it!

  49. @dabears2485
    So OBJ throws a sideline tantrum and loses the benefit of the doubt while Elliot is being investigated for abusing his girlfriend and doesn’t. That says a lot about the NFL and possibly yourself.

  50. philtration says:
    Dec 22, 2016 10:27 AM

    No player can jump into the stands without it being a penalty and probably a fine…… unless you are a Green Bay Packer.

    There is a lot of this crap around the league so why waste your time crying about it?
    I have never had my attention on what color of shoes or gloves a player is wearing.
    __________________________________

    It’s not “crying.” Stop using that meaningless buzzword. A player is pointing out a double standard. Rules are rules. The NFL should fine Eliot if they’re fining everyone else The NFL should ban the Lambeau leap. The NFL should enforce their rules equally for every team or change them.

    The only crybabies I see are a bunch of people on a message board who don’t even grasp basic ethics.

  51. “There’s a widespread perception around the NFL that discipline is inconsistent and arbitrary, and double standards abound.”

    WTH do you mean “perception”. Its clearly the obvious fact.

  52. I LOVE THE NFL…BUT, This league is on its way down! I use to watch every game that I could watch. Seems as the league has to much going on with Deflategate, Cover ups, Aaron Hernandez type players, Leaking miss-information to media outlets, officiating that is borderline horrific at times, rules that can’t even be interpreted by the head of officials on TV which never have the same answer. Just thinking about the watered down product that it has become on Thursday night matchups makes me not as interested as I once was.

  53. “There’s a widespread perception around the NFL that discipline is inconsistent and arbitrary, and double standards abound…”

    I suspect that the perception exists because discipline is inconsistent and arbitrary, and double standards abound…

  54. mmack66 says:
    Dec 22, 2016 11:13 AM
    ktoast says:
    Dec 22, 2016 9:45 AM

    The Salvation Army received a MASSIVE boost in donations, at Christmas, due to Elliott’s celebration.
    ———————-

    They did? All because a guy jumped in a kettle?

    ————-

    That is correct.

    Doesn’t mean that Beckham shouldn’t get some leeway for honoring a longtime beloved sideline reporter who died of leukemia.

  55. Another big difference….Elliott wasn’t jumping into the kettle for a good cause. It just so happened that it turned out to be a good cause. If he faked reached into his pockets to bring awareness to donating, then sure. But his celebration was a total, “look at me” thing and he still didn’t get a fine. OBJ intended (or feigned intent just to wear his own shoes) to bring awareness and was fined.

    Enforce the rules evenly or get rid of them. Only a matter of time before the NFL is sued as well it should.

  56. The Giants seem to be cheating every week. Lucky they have imbedded employees at the NFL home office. Mara is untouchable…..his plantation workers….not so much

  57. These are two different “infractions”.

    One is a UNIFORM infraction. And we all know, by the countless fines other players like DeAngelo Williams have incurred, that the NFL is VERY SERIOUS about uniform infractions.

    The other infraction was a celebration infraction. However, the NFL knew how much free publicity this act would get the Salvation Army (as confirmed by all of the $21 donations that have been received this week), and they knew the public backlash would be severe if Elliott got a fine.

    So, IMO, these are two different infractions.

  58. “The NFL also has a clear rule against using props in TD celebrations. But as we all know IOKIYAC (it’s okay if you’re a Cowboy)”

    I know right? The NFL loves the Cowboys. Like that time they didn’t fine them for spending over the salary cap, when there wasn’t a salary cap that year….oh wait….

  59. A simple solution: stop doing the cleats for a cause promotion and don’t allow any variance in footwear on the field.

    One reason why people are turned off by football is that we’re spending more time discussing fashion than football. Couldn’t care less if I never saw another colored cleat again.

  60. OBJ is just jealous they aren’t talking about him so he had to go and say something so they would talk about him and feed his starving for attention ego.

  61. I agree with (just about) everyone that the inconsistency is unpleasant, but I think it’s a smaller part of a larger problem. Football has become the backdrop, just like the backdrop for ER is a hospital. It’s all about the personalities, the clothing, the Tweets, the taunts, the criminal charges. Was Richard Sherman calling out Carson Palmer with his tweet? What’s the deal with Clay Matthews not shaking Jim Caldwell’s hand? Did the NFL know about the Ray Rice film? Is there a conspiracy against Tom Brady? Why fine Beckham and not Elliott? Tom Savage says he’s “ready to let it rip” out there. These are the stories we get now. Very few people seem interested in talking about the game, about the strategy, about the mechanics. It’s a freaking circus. And it’s hard to endure.

  62. ricko1112 says:
    Dec 22, 2016 8:49 AM

    OBJ is a punk. That’s why he will never get the benefit of the doubt again. He’s still living off that one catch.
    ————————————————————–
    Yeah, that one catch — Oh and 4,000 career yds in 3 years —— Oh and 35+ TD’s in 3 yrs.
    It’s obvious you know nothing about football. Why don’t you see if there’s a message board that’s more to your strengths. Maybe ballet or women’s field hockey.
    Idiot

  63. The rules are easy: no sex, violence,taunting, or choreography. Spontaneous celebrating, jumping in stands, praying, pointing to sky all ok. Air humping, shooting bows, pounding your chest in front of another player, or having a pre-planned statement or dance routine is not ok. Only people who can’t wrap their mind around this concept of professional sportsmanship are people being deliberately obstinate.

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