Like most, Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett doesn’t understand NFL rules.
Reporters asked Bennett about the league’s celebration rules and how they are reinforced and he sounded as lost as the of us. ESPN’s Sheil Kapadia captured the full quote:
“I’m never clear on the NFL’s rules,” Bennett said. “I just go along with it. One of my friends, she’s from China, and she asked me, ‘Michael, I don’t understand the rules.’ And I said, ‘I don’t understand the rules either.’ I’ve been doing it for 20 years. I don’t even understand it.
“There’s times when they fine people for stuff, and then there’s times when they don’t fine people for stuff. And there’s times when people have excessive celebrations, and sometimes they don’t do nothing, and they get fined. It’s really confusing.”
It’s hard to disagree. The NFL didn’t fine Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott for jumping in a Salvation Army pot. But it hit up New York Giants wideout Odell Beckham Jr. for his Craig Sager cleats, which saw proceeds donated to a good cause.
In broader terms, referees don’t seem to understand what is going on either. The league wanted to make taunting and sportsmanship an emphasis this year, yet the message has fallen flat because there is no consistency in verdicts. Sometimes a celebration gets flagged, other times it doesn’t. Ditto for fines.
At the least, it’s telling an NFL player doesn’t understand much of the logic behind rules right now, either.