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