Should NFL come up with a different word for “fines”?

Super Bowl LV
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While discussing the differences between Tyreek Hill‘s use of the deuces when running to the end zone and the direct placement by Antoine Winfield, Jr. of the deuces in Hill’s face during the Super Bowl, I had an idea.

The NFL punishes such behavior with a system of fines. The fine money goes to a league-approved charity. Would fans feel differently about the “No Fun League” aspect of pro football if the league came up with a different name for a punishment that consists of compelling him to make an involuntary contribution to a charity of the NFL’s choice?

Flagging the issue is the easy part. Coming up with a term that better reflects where the money goes is the harder part. The behavior reflects a violation of the rules, but the end result has a positive aspect to it. (If you have any ideas, feel free to put them in the comments. We may feel free to steal them.)

As to Winfield and Hill, it’s not true that Hills has never been fined for shooting the deuces at an opponent. The league fined Hill more than $10,000 for aiming the deuces at a Broncos defensive back Davontae Harrison during an October 2019 game. The NFL previously had imposed a five-figure fine against Hill for making the same gesture in a 2018 game.

That said, Hill isn’t consistently fined for the gesture. In many cases, it’s not being specifically directed at any one player. In contrast, Winfield stuck the peace sign straight in Hill’s face once it became obvious the Buccaneers would win Super Bowl LV.

The NFL has a rule against taunting because it can lead to on-field fights. The more obvious the connection between gesture and opponent would could take action in response to it, the more likely the gesture will be flagged and fined.

Or whatever the more positive word could be to capture the notion that the money ultimately goes to good causes.

43 responses to “Should NFL come up with a different word for “fines”?

  1. is the word fine hurting people’s feelings? that seems to be the catalyst to every change that “needs” to be made

  2. They should get rid of fines is right. They should kick them out of their “Safe Space” and take away their teddy bear and crayons.

  3. Well, they still are “fines” no matter where the money goes. But even looking past that technicality, where would the line be where they’d stop using this “positive and upbeat” term? Peace signs are the positive term, okay, maybe. Now, what if the guy turns around and points at the defender while scoring a TD? Now what if he flips off an opponent and causes a big fight? Somewhere in there it makes the league look bad for minimizing the problem of bad sportsmanship.

  4. This is a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. It’s a fine. If I get fined for littering and the city puts the money toward street sweeping, it’s still a fine. I’m not donating it. I guess this is the point in the offseason we have reached.

  5. “Dear Player:

    You are hereby assessed a negative incentive in the amount of $7,158.45 which has been deducted from your pay. Please avoid further bad choices or you will be assessed further enhanced negative incentives.”

    Sounds good, let it fly.

  6. It’s pretty simple. Do away with flags for taunting. Let the league review the game tape afterwards and then they can decide if a player broke a rule and fine them. Human beings that have a different standard for what they consider sportsmanship are the ones that throw the flags. Unless it directly starts a fight, let the league office handle it.

  7. Penalty, forfeiture, charge, tariff, toll, duty, there are other names that could be used. What should happen is the flag should immediately require payment before the player could rejoin the game. He sits in the penalty box at the back of the endzone with a dunce cap on until that check clears or immediately leave for 1 game, like a red card. They will create their own charity and involuntarily give to themselves.

  8. So this article started talking about hypocrisy in assessing penalties and fines.
    And ends in asking for help/ suggestions/ et al, because the word ‘fine’ sounds too negative?
    Ain’t that a bit, i don’t know… Hypocritical?

  9. Wow what a liberal left wing concept. So you want to make a act that gets a fine into a PR win for the offender. Would that not just increase the “donations” in the league. Maybe if they have to donate it has to be towards a organization they don’t agree with.

  10. I would like to see a list of fines levied by the NFL, and a list of actual contributions to charities.
    I won’t hold my breath.

  11. The word fine is fine. The positive connotation is already built into the word without any of our effort at all. There’s no need to overthink this one. Perspective

  12. Haha, I would totally pick the Satanic Temple as my donation of choice. Not just because it’s a great cause, but because it would be funny to see people’s faces when they find out the Satanic Temple is an institution that combats oppression and champions social justice

  13. Simply amazing that every word in the English language is either racist or hurts someone’s feelings. Good grief. How did we allow ourselves to get to this point?

  14. The only thing the NFL could do from a PR perspective is be more transparent and personal about where the fine goes. Yes, we know it goes into a charity fund. But funds are impersonal and I rarely hear much about what charities receive money from it. So instead of just fining a player and dumping it into an anonymous fund, maybe say, “Antoine Winfield has been fined $7,815 for taunted. That money will be donated to the American Red Cross,” or something of that sort. Directly spell out where the money goes.

  15. You should call them Fynes. Everyone knows F-I-N-E means “not fine” and F-Y-N-E means “fine”.
    The solutions to all of life’s problems can be found in Community.

  16. Now the word “Find” offends someone, PULEEEZE!

    Stop this nonsense. The player screws up, play pays a fine. Are speeding tickets assessed fine? Where will this cancel culture end?

  17. Winfield sticking the peace sign straight in Hill’s face was one of my favorite Super Bowl moments. Especially after the disrespect Hill and the arrogant Kansas City showed all season.

  18. Seems counterproductive to give a positive name to something related to behavior they’re trying to discourage.

  19. We could call it a virus and say that there is a pandemic and close businesses, schools and playgrounds. Force everyone to wear masks and fine or imprison everyone who refuses. We can create Fema camps and call them re-education centers where we make sure most never come out alive. Then we can call this the Great Reset.

  20. Hill taunted Winfield directly to his face in the game back in November. No fine.

    Doesn’t matter anyways. Now that Mahomes is off his rookie contract, the Chiefs won’t be dominating like they have been. Less money to fix that sieve of a defense.

  21. Leave it to a liberal to take a perfectly good word and deem it offensive. Happens several times a day, it seems. I just found out I can’t say “picnic.”

    How about changing it to “donation opportunity”?

  22. I don’t know about all this. I keep mistaking my wife for a parking ticket because she has FINE written all over her. And there’s nothing negative about that.

  23. Easy Fix here people – Just drop the ‘e’ and add a ‘n’
    Instead of the word ‘fine’ we now have ‘finn’ and the NFL can say that procedes from the ‘Finn’ account goes to saving the whales.

  24. The player has no say in where the money goes, it’s not a donation. It’s just a fine. And Goodell gets credit for his generosity. [insert eye-roll emoji here]

  25. This main issue as I see it is there shouldn’t be fines based upon the amount assessed. They should be tolls/taxes based upon salary. Call them assessed taxes. So, it could be 10% of game check, for example for infraction x, or 5% for infraction y. Players making $10 mil per year or $850k shouldn’t get identical fine amounts. A portion of this assessed tax money – instead of going to charity – could go a committee-chosen Cleanest Player of the Year award to go a person who has been deemed to play the cleanest without penalties or fines. Incentivize players to play cleaner.

  26. If we go by this clarification of donations, that makes guys like Gregg Williams and Albert Haynesworth some if the most charitable members of the league. Man of the Year award in the bag!

  27. Love all the real people speaking up. Sadly it’s the writer that gets the voice. Speaks to most everything that’s wrong in today’s world. The wrong people get the microphones while the majority of people are muzzled and their comments are censored.

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