Browns receiver Odell Beckham Jr. showed off his gams during Cleveland’s Week 6 loss to the Seattle Seahawks back in Week 6, wearing his uniform pants a couple inches above the knee. Why should you give a rip whether a football man wears his pants above or below the knee, you ask, like a real grump? Because failing to wear your pants below the knee in the NFL is a uniform violation, and in this case it earned Beckham a whopping $14,037 fine from the NFL. Beckham, who has spoken out in the past on the tyranny of four- and five-figure uniform fines, was not real happy about the ruling, a point he made clear when he revealed the fine on Instagram:
“14 k for some [angry emoji] pants that are NOT gonna protect me from anything ... this shxt is ridiculous [crying emoji]”
As noted by Jake Trotter of ESPN, Beckham talked about exactly this scenario earlier in October, bringing up uniform violations unprompted following an unrelated fine. Noting that he doesn’t “do physics,” Beckham suggested that the flimsy foam pad usually crammed into the knee pocket of football pants is unlikely to protect him from catastrophic injury:
“I think it’s crazy. ... The NFL finds ways to just take it. They’re going to take it from you,” he said at the time. “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.
Beckham had one of his better games of this frustrating Browns season against the Seahawks, hauling in six catches for 101 yards, including a bonkers sideline grab in the second quarter, during an all-too-rare productive day for Cleveland’s turnover-prone offense. Also he looked quite fetching with the thigh-high socks.
Improbably, this isn’t the stupidest uniform violation fine of Beckham’s career. Back in 2016, he was fined for wearing cleats honoring the late Craig Sager, which cannot be traced to any player safety concerns whatsoever, to say nothing of physics.