On Friday, the NFL continued the trend of handing out obscure fines. New Orleans Saints All-Pro tight end Jimmy Graham was fined $30,000 by the league for two dunking celebrations against the Tennessee Titans, according to ESPN Saints reporter Mike Triplett. While the NFL is obligated to hand down a fine, the penalty was simply unnecessary.
Earlier in the week, Graham stated that it would be “unfortunate” to be fined by the NFL for his actions because he felt dunking and other celebrations are “not hurting anyone.” It’s hard to disagree with Graham there. The days of Terrell Owens getting out the popcorn or Chad Johnson playing golf with the pylon are clearly over, whether we like it or not.
“It’s unfortunate because I just love this game. I have a lot of passion for the game. And when I go out there on Sunday, it’s fun for me.”
As much as I enjoyed seeing the touchdown celebrations, it is more troubling that the NFL has such a difficult time deciding on how fines should be distributed. Roger Goodell and the NFL’s disciplinary board need to figure out a more accurate system for penalizing players because the current system is flawed to say the least. Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel managed to get off for flipping off the Washington Redskins players and fans for $10,000. It’s up for debate I suppose, but I would personally believe that giving the middle finger on national television could potentially hurt the league more than dunking after a touchdown.
ESPN Insider Adam Schefter reports, players can be fined $11,025 for a time offense and $22,050 for a second under the current schedule for unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.