NFL starts handing out harsher penalties
February 7, 2017
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Nearing the end of the season, $28,276,427 has been handed out in fines to players across the NFL. The reason for these hefty fines? Penalties for violating the league’s code of conduct.
Although some of these fines have come from viable reasons such as substance abuse and PEDs (performance enhancing drugs), an overwhelming majority of the fines have been due to excessive celebrations and typical plays that referees judge “unfair.”
“There is a place and time for fines; but these referees are being too strict to a point where players can’t even celebrate for performing well,” said senior Francis Nguyen.
The fines and penalties are becoming so detrimental to football that fans are beginning to lose interest. Football as a whole, however, still remains popular despite the National Football League declining. In fact, college football’s ratings are increasing after fans have begun to become frustrated in what the NFL has been doing.
“College football seems to be on the verge of becoming more popular than the NFL due to the strict regulations,” said Nguyen.
Redskins’ tight end Vernon Davis has been known for his signature toss of the football through the goalpost after scoring a touchdown. However, after scoring against the Eagles in week six, Davis was fined over $12,000 for this same celebration.
“It may seem unfair, but players have to demonstrate a sign of sportsmanship and be a role model to other teams and fans watching at home,” said senior Hyung Seo.
A primary reason for these penalties could certainly be the fact that a player has to keep up their sense of sportsmanship. With all the viewers at home, the last thing the NFL would want is younger NFL fans to be imitating celebrations that they’ve seen players perform on television.
Nevertheless, this does not undermine the reason that players like Davis are suddenly being fined for the same celebration they have been displaying for years.
“The concept of sportsmanship to other teams and to the refs is getting softer,” said senior Kipper Whitley.
Not only is this judgement the refs are instilling on the players reasonably unfair, but it is beginning to affect the outcome of NFL games. During the Giants’ loss to the Steelers in Week 13, many players had penalties that called back crucial plays at the end of the game due to the official’s opinion of ‘fair play.’
“I don’t understand how I’m running down the field on a go route and somebody tries to stop my progress, but I can’t put my hands on them–it was a horrible call in my opinion, but it is what is, man,” said Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. when asked on these game-changing plays.
The frustration due to these missed or excessive calls is clearly affecting players nearly as much as fans when they watch NFL games. But, the reason for the fines associated with these calls still seem unfair and unreasonable for the NFL.
“Although the league is getting money for these fines from players, the NFL is making less money since the calls are losing viewers and results in the NFL making less money in the long run,” said senior Garrett Memoli.