For reasons that seem like the opposite of fun-loving, the NFL has fined Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown $11,576 for his endzone celebration last week against the Indianapolis Colts. The fine is especially mysterious because Brown’s celebration was hardly lewd or mean-spirited — rather, it was totally goofy and lauded as one of the better and more original celebrations in recent memory.
With the Steelers up big on the Colts, 38-10, in the waning moments of their Sunday Night game, Brown took a punt return to the house. Then, without breaking stride, he leapt onto the goal post and did a no-hand slide onto the ground, landing on his back. Doesn’t that sound entertaining? Well, the NFL actually agrees, having labeled video of the highlight a “Can’t Miss Play” on its own website.
This is not the first transcendent play from Brown that has received a slap on the wrist from the league. Playing against the Cleveland Browns early last season, Brown was in the middle of another spectacular punt return when he tried to hurdle over Browns punter Spencer Lanning — but didn’t get enough air and ended up kicking Lanning in the face. This play also received an unsportmanlike penalty flag, a fine for Brown, and its own page on NFL.com, complete with several fantastic slo-mo replays.