Odell Beckham Jr. was aware that he was going to be fined after getting in a fight with Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey on Sunday that ended with him getting choke-slammed. That much was expected.
Although the Cleveland Browns wide receiver wouldn’t reveal how punitive the fine was, he did use this moment to rip the NFL for its system of fining players.
Beckham was ticked off in part because Browns center JC Tretter was fined $14,000 for trying to break up the fight between the two players.
“That’s a rule that they’re trying to implement, so that people are coming in to pull you off a pile and then more fights start,” Beckham said, via ESPN. “But it’s just like, I’m trying to break it up for my team and get the thing situated and I’ve got however much money coming out of my pocket.”
Beckham offered to pay Tretter’s fine, but it was just the beginning of a long, if reasonable, diatribe against the league. He’s lucky he didn’t get more than a fine for his involvement with Humphrey, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the league’s fines are on the level.
Beckham rips fines for minor uniform infractions
The NFL has an incredibly detailed list of ways that players can get fined, and some of the specifics are mind-numbing.
Look no further than Friday, when the league fined New Orleans Saints linebacker Demario Davis $7,017 for wearing a headband that said “Man of God.” It’s very reminiscent of when the NFL fined then-Carolina Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams $5,757 for supporting breast cancer awareness during breast cancer awareness month.
Beckham has had more than his fair share of ticky-tack fines. Just this year, he’s already been fined for wearing a $191,500 watch during a game and having a visor that was marginally too dark. He’s also been fined for more obvious things like a lewd touchdown celebration and blindside hit.
“I think it’s crazy,” Beckham said. “The NFL finds ways to just take it. They're going to take it from you. I understand a penalty, getting fined for that. But pants above the knees, a shirt hanging out — and we’re talking about a T-shirt that cost $5 to make, and you’re getting $5,000 taken from you. Pads above your knees, and I’m like, you really think that this little knee pad covering my kneecap is going to affect, if somebody hits me, weighs 250 pounds, running 18 mph. I don’t do physics, but if I get hit, this is not going to protect me.
“It’s just stuff like that [that] I feel like we can come to a better agreement and simplifying things and not taking the money out of the pockets of the players who are putting money into this entire game. It’s just tough. It sucks to get fined for socks. Or in the middle of the game, have someone come up and it’s like, ‘Oh, your jersey is out.’ I'm like, ‘Bro I’m not worried about my jersey in the middle of the game.’ I’m worried about what assignment do I have. A visor, this. All those little things that could be eliminated ... stuff that doesn't need to be so strict.”
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