As we thought he would be, Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict was fined $12,154 for flipping off fans in the crowd during the Bengals vs Bills Week 11 game.
This news comes from Tom Pelissero of USA Today.
#Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict and #Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin each were fined $12,154 for middle finger salutes in last week's games.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) November 25, 2016
Burfict was caught showing off his middle fingers to Bills fans, and according to some fans in attendance it was in response to said Bills fans throwing a beer at him during the game.
Burfict giving the double bird to his own fans? @JoeBuscaglia pic.twitter.com/ActDL92D5R— Tim K (@King_of_Goonz) November 20, 2016
Either way, Burfict needs to control himself and cannot flip off anyone in the middle of an NFL game. Doug Baldwin was also fined for the same action this week, though his gesture was toward his coach, not a fan. The NFL wants its players to be role models and the league is not of the belief that this is role model behavior.
“I don’t know what occurred or what or if he did make the gesture or who he’s making the gesture to. It might have been at me,” Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said while laughing on Monday when asked about Burfict’s flip off. Apparently, Lewis didn’t think it was too serious of an issue and wasn’t taking it as seriously as the league is, handing over a five figure fine.
Burfict is being closely watched due to his history, which includes a three game suspension served to start the 2016 season. He also was fined in Week 6 of the 2016 season due to the league believing he stomped on LaGarrette Blount’s leg. We’re less sure that really happened. Last we heard, Burfict was appearing that fine.
Burfict needs to make better decisions, regardless of how seemingly inconsequential flipping off a fan may be. After hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of fines during the last four years and with each fine he pays, you’d think Burfict would think a little harder before he acts. He certainly should do that considering the amount of money he’s giving to charity (where NFL fine money goes) without his consent.
Here’s a history of Burfict’s fines handed down by the NFL, courtesy of the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Paul Dehner Jr.
The $12,154 fine of Vontaze Burfict for middle fingers ups career total to $817,554 counting lost game checks. Fined in 9 of 57 games. pic.twitter.com/o0haaRZRfU— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) November 25, 2016
Burfict will likely be unable to appeal this latest fine since it was caught on video.