On Monday night, Odell Beckham Jr. made headlines for a hemline.
The Cleveland Browns receiver posted a photo on Instagram of a fine letter sent to him by the NFL for a uniform violation. The letters notes that OBJ was fined $14,037 because, during Cleveland’s Week 6 loss to Seattle on Oct. 13, Beckham’s “pants failed to cover the knee area.”
The letter reads, in part: “Rule 5, Section 4, Article 3, Item (4) of the 2019 Official Playing Rules of the National Football League states that pants must be worn over the entire knee area; pants shortened or rolled up to meet the stocking above the knee are prohibited.”
Beckham called the fine “ridiculous”, noting the pants regulation is “NOT gonna protect me from anything.”
This is not OBJ’s first run-in with NFL officials this season. Beckham was fined $14,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct stemming from his much-publicized dustup with Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey in Week 4. He was also briefly removed from Cleveland’s Week 2 win over the Jets because he was wearing an unregulated visor.
Beckham expressed earlier this month his displeasure with league fines.
“I think it’s crazy. … The NFL finds ways to just take it. They’re going to take it from you,” he said, per ESPN’s Jake Trotter. “I understand a penalty, getting fined for that. But pants above the knees, a shirt hanging out — and we’re talking about a T-shirt that cost $5 to make, and you’re getting $5,000 taken from you. Pads above your knees, and I’m like, ‘You really think that this little knee pad covering my kneecap is going to affect, if somebody hits me, weighs 250 pounds, running 18 mph.’ I don’t do physics, but if I get hit, this is not going to protect me.
“It’s just stuff like that [that] I feel like we can come to a better agreement and simplifying things and not taking the money out of the pockets of the players who are putting money into this entire game. It’s just tough. It sucks to get fined for socks. Or in the middle of the game, have someone come up and it’s like, ‘Oh, your jersey is out.’ I’m like, ‘Bro I’m not worried about my jersey in the middle of the game.’ I’m worried about what assignment do I have. A visor, this. All those little things that could be eliminated … stuff that doesn’t need to be so strict. … I just wish they could not worry about some of that stuff. Worry about the game. Worry about the other things that are going on.”