EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – DECEMBER 18: Odell Beckham Jr. #13 of the New York Giants makes a catch to carry the ball 4-yards for a touchdown against the Detroit Lions in the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium on December 18, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Remember all the good will the NFL earned when they dedicated an entire week to allow players to wear whatever cleats they wanted in order to raise funds for the charity of their choice? Not only was it an awesome display of artistic individualism that allowed players to express themselves, but it also supported hundreds of worthy causes that were important to teams and players and communities alike.

Well, like a lot of good things that happen in the NFL, they don’t know how to handle it unless it fits inside of their corporate, shield-mandated, tiny boxes of alternate reality.

Case in point, this message from star New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who says the NFL fined him for cleats paying tribute to the late Craig Sager and raised funds for cancer research.

OBJ made the comment on DeSean Jackson’s Instagram page, where Jackson was also talking about a fine from the league office for wearing non-approved cleats from his DJX brand.

Here’s a screenshot of Beckham’s comment:


Here’s a closer look at the cleats Beckham wore on Sunday against the Lions:

If this is indeed true, and Beckham was fined $18,000 for his Craig Sager tribute, it’s just the latest example of the NFL’s ridiculous and total ineptitude at public relations or actual good will. How in the world does any organization consider one of their hard and fast rules to be “you can only wear special shoes to raise money for charity WHEN WE SAY YOU ARE ALLOWED TO DO SO.” Who thinks that way?!?! Does the NFL realize how petty and legalistic they look when they fine someone $18,000 for wearing shoes while entire NBA teams are wearing full warm-ups doing the exact same thing? Does the NFL not realize how tone deaf this makes them?

Furthermore, it exposes the league’s consistent inconsistency when it comes to handing out fines and punishment. The double standards throughout the league are too many to count. The most recent one is the NFL (allegedly) fining Beckham while choosing not to fine Ezekiel Elliott for jumping in a Salvation Army pot after scoring a touchdown. How do you wrap your mind around choosing to fine one person for promoting a good cause while choosing to not fine another person for promoting a different good cause?

After all the scandal and controversy the NFL has been through the last three years, you would think they could use all the good will they could get. You would think they would see the success of the #mycleatsmycause week and allow players to wear whatever shoes they want as long as they promoted charity. You would think the NFL would gladly cheer on one of their star players paying tribute to a beloved sideline reporter whose courageous battle with cancer inspired millions.

You, of course, would think wrong.