During Thursday’s Patriots-Buccaneers preseason game, Bucs LB Mason Foster walloped Chad Ochocinco when he was trying to make a catch over the middle of the field. Foster was flagged on the play, though replays could not clearly show whether the hit was illegal or not. That being said, the NFL is likely to fine the rookie linebacker for the hit on Ocho, likely a $20,000 fine. Chad doesn’t think Foster should be fined, and reached out to him via Twitter and offered to reimburse him for any fine he gets from the hit:
@Mason_Foster great hit last night, if u’re fined i’ll reimburse u boss. That’s the way the game should b played. Stay healthy n have a good yr
Mason Foster responded to Chad on Twitter:
@ochocinco thanks Bruh I appreciate it, goodluck to you too
Before those good feelings get to you, here comes the NFL.
Through NFL spokesman Greg Aiello, Pro Football Talk confirmed, “that it is not permitted for a player to pay another player’s fine. Anyone who’s fined by the NFL has to pay the fine himself, and no kind of reimbursement, by anyone, is allowed.”
That is completely ridiculous.
Since when does the NFL have the right to say what a player can and cannot do with his own money? Granted, it is very hard for the NFL to even track and police this sort of a rule. However, the fact that they even police this is foolish. I could understand if a wealthy fan offered to pay the fines of players because that could almost be a “bounty” situation. “Hey, go high or go low on this guy and take him out of the game. Don’t worry, I’ll pay your fines.” That is completely understandable.
This is not one of those cases. The offer to pay the fine is from the player who got hit! If he doesn’t have a problem with the hit, then neither should the NFL. Kudos to Chad for, a.) wanting the game to be played right, and, b.) making a generous gesture to another player, and a rookie that will not be making close to the money he is.
Then, of course, there’s the principle of the matter, that being the NFL’s right to tell players what to do with their money. But that doesn’t seem to matter to Commissar Goodell, does it? The more you tighten your grip the more things will slip through your fingers.