November 30, 2011
Steve Johnson got off easy for mocking Plaxico Burress(notes) by pretending to shoot himself in the leg as a touchdown celebration. The Buffalo Bills wide receiver will have to pay only a $10,000 fine for the action from Sunday's game.
The Associated Press reported the news. The NFL has yet to publicly announce the fine.
Johnson should consider himself lucky that he got off so easy and that the NFL's system of fines is so illogical that mocking a player by mimicking a self-inflicted gunshot wound earns the same sanction as a player calling his wife to let him know he was fine after getting a concussion. Troy Polamalu(notes) earned the same $10,000 fine last month for that egregious offense. How can Roger Goodell keep a straight face while doling out similar fines for two disparate actions?
And I say that as someone who found the Plaxico-mocking hilarious. Burress shot himself in the leg because he walked into a nightclub with a gun in his waistband that accidentally went off. We're supposed to treat his stupidity as some sort of tragedy with which we should never speak of again? Burress paid his debt (and then some). That doesn't mean folks like Johnson can't poke fun at his situation.
That being said, Goodell also can't let players celebrate touchdowns with finger guns. It's not the image he wants for the league and he would have been right to fine Johnson five or 10 times as much as he did.
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