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Minkah Fitzpatrick fined for taunting vs. the Rams in Week 10

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The Steelers’ safety was charged $10, 527 on a play which did not draw a penalty

Los Angeles Rams v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Over the weekend, it was announced Steelers’ safety Minkah Fitzpatrick was fined over $10k for taunting an opponent during his touchdown in the 17-12 win over the Los Angeles Rams in Week 10.

The incident occurred on the second play after the two minute warning of the first half. On 3rd & 7 from their own 42 yard line, Rams quarterback Jared Goff dropped back to pass and was sacked by the Steelers’ Javon Hargrave. In the process, Hargrave knocked the ball loose where Fitzpatrick picked it up and returned it 43 yards for a touchdown. As Fitzpatrick ran inside the 5 yard line, he waved goodbye to a Rams player as he scored. The incident did not draw a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct, but still drew a fine from the NFL.

The NFL’s explanation as to how they determine if a fine is going to be issued in a game is explained in the NFL Operations guide under Fines & Appeals:

The NFL uses the fine schedule to outline the league’s and the union’s expectations for players to conduct themselves in a way that honors the sport and respects the game, their fellow players, the fans and the league. The rules are intended to protect the players from unnecessary risk, promote player safety and emphasize sportsmanship and respect of teammates, opponents, coaches, officials and fans.

Player infractions may come to the league’s attention in a variety of ways. The league may respond to an official’s call during a game or to a specific play that a team submits for review. The NFL Officiating Department also reviews every play from every game and refers potential violations to the Football Operations compliance team.

League staff members examine the plays identified as having potential infractions to determine whether there is cause for additional review.

Players subject to accountability measures receive a letter informing them of what they did, a video of the play in question, why they are being fined and how much it will cost them. They also receive information on how to appeal the fine. If they choose not to appeal, the fine is withheld from their next game check.

As for the specific amount of Fitpatrick’s fine, it is the standard amount for a first-time offense for taunting. A complete list of fines for specific violations can be seen HERE.