Let’s get this out of the way: Ezekiel Elliott’s kettle hop was fun, kinda cute, and made for great internet content for this very blog and others. It’s also great that the NFL has said they won’t fine him, and that Elliott will donate a hefty sum to the Salvation Army.
However, other big-name guys like Odell Beckham Jr. and Le’Veon Bell have been fined for much less, and they apparently feel that the league would have treated the issue differently if they had been the ones to jump in the kettle:
Just this year Odell has been fined for excessive celebration once and unsportsmanlike conduct twice. The excessive celebration penalty came after he pretended to film Victor Cruz doing a salsa dance after Cruz scored a touchdown in Week 1 against the Cowboys. One unsportsmanlike conduct penalty came after Beckham ran through the end zone on a touchdown, removing his helmet as he reached the end.
Beckham was never specifically flagged for his antics with the kicking net.
Le’Veon Bell feels the same way as Beckham, apparently:
Like everything in this business, it’s all just a PR play. Zeke found a way to be outrageous that boosted the attention to a charitable organization that the Cowboys and the NFL could easily stand behind. Sure, good, ‘tis the season for giving and all that, though I’m not sure who in this country is not aware of the Salvation Army by now. (I’m sure, however, that many are not aware of the heinous anti-LGBT discrimination they’ve promoted.)
Jerruh Jones, the billionaire, said as much to ESPN: “We have those kettles there because we do want the visibility of reminding everybody, certainly at this time of year, how doing the most good is putting a dollar in that red kettle.”
Maybe Beckham and Bell should just make their celebrations more philanthropic from now on. If I can offer a suggestion, I’d personally love to see Odell Beckham use American Sign Language to say “DONATE TODAY TO PLANNED PARENTHOOD” after his next ridiculous touchdown.