No Fun League: Tyreek Hill Covering Suspended Photographer's Salary
Not sure if you saw this story earlier in the week, but the NFL suspended a 20-year-old photographer for his participation in Tyreek Hill’s Week 6 backflip celebration. Marcel Louis-Jacques explained the situation in an ESPN story:
In a video posted to social media on Tuesday, photographer Kevin Fitzgibbons, who is contracted by the NFL to shoot Dolphins home games, said he was suspended for the remainder of the season “and possibly for good” by the league for his role in Hill’s touchdown celebration against the Carolina Panthers during a win in Week 6.
After scoring, Hill took Fitzgibbons’ cellphone and filmed himself doing a backflip, after which the photographer was seen excitedly jumping up and down before he left the field to send the clip to the NFL, according to Fitzgibbons.
Hill and Fitzgibbons said the incident was unplanned, but Fitzgibbons said the NFL did not appreciate the way he reacted after the celebration.
Right, so the violation isn’t really about the phone use, it’s more like an on-field version of “no cheering in the press box.” He’s a credentialed NFL contractor, so he’s technically not supposed to be celebrating or jumping up and down.
What’s corny is that the NFL used the video on their social media accounts, before deleting it. Fitzgibbons sent the footage back from his phone, so the content was perfectly fine to use, but they didn’t like how the kid handled himself? That’s a little bit of an eye roller. That’s why we’re hitting ’em with the “No Fun League.”
The latest development is that Hill is going to cover Fitzgibbons’ lost money:
Tyreek Hill’s response on @kfitzsports getting suspended – “I told him I was going to cover his salary, whatever the NFL was going to pay him…I told him I was going to make sure that I do what’s right and take care of you, make sure you’re not out of a job. That’s my guy.” pic.twitter.com/oVFzj4tNDU
— Giselle Espinales (@GiselleSports) December 1, 2023
Good on Tyreek, and listen, it would be one thing if you had guys in the press box wearing Dolphins jerseys and clapping when Hill went into the end zone. It happens when the international soccer teams come here. The “press” wear fucking Real Madrid shirts and stand up and cheer, which is totally cringe. When the Eagles play, we don’t have Jeff McLane and Reuben Frank high fiving each other after the Brotherly Shove, right? They’re Big J, traditional media types. We do have boundaries to maintain. But this was just a college kid on the sidelines excited for a player he knows personally and thrilled to share some ace content with the NFL. I don’t even think he’s cheering for the Dolphins. To me, he looked psyched for the particular moment.
I get where the league is coming from, and rules are rules, but fans don’t care about traditional journalism guidelines in 2023, which is obvious by the reaction to this story. The question is whether or not various pro sports and media organizations adjust their approach based on this mindset.
Here’s the original TikTok from Fitzgibbons, which brought the whole thing to light:
The journey continues…