Yes, the NFL needs to lighten up.
A league that dramatically relaxed the celebration rules in 2017 continues to punish players for interacting with the large red Salvation Army kettle that the Cowboys keep on the field from Thanksgiving through Christmas.
Last week, it was Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott. This week, Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore received a $13,369 fine for unsportsmanlike conduct. The infraction? Depositing $23 (matching the number he wears) into the red kettle.
After an interception during the Thursday night game that started Week 13, Lattimore produced the cash from under the knee pad in his pants and dropped it into the oversized receptacle, shining another light on a very good cause that the Cowboys have supported for more than two decades.
So why not let the players do it? The red kettle necessarily becomes part of the field in Dallas. Why not revise the rules to let the players use the kettle as a prop in the same way that they can now use the football as a prop?
Hopefully, it’s a rule that changes in the offseason. And if there’s anyone who can make a plausible argument for keeping the rule as it currently is, we’d love to hear it.