Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr.and Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell took to Twitter on Monday to express their surprise with the NFL's decision not to fine Cowboys running backEzekiel Elliottfor celebrating a touchdown Sunday by jumping into a giant Salvation Army donation kettle.
The Cowboys were penalized 15 yards on the ensuing kickoff for unsportsmanlike conduct, but the NFL said Monday that Elliott would not face further sanctions.
Bell responded to Beckham's original post, tweeting a pair of messages, the second of which referred to Steelers teammate and receiverAntonio Brown.
Elliott's celebration came after his franchise-record-setting 13th rushing touchdown of his rookie season in the Cowboys' 26-20 win over theTampa Bay Buccaneers.Elliott's score broke Tony Dorsett's team record for most touchdown runs by a rookie in Dallas history. The 2-yard run on third-and-goal gave the Cowboys a 10-3 lead in the second quarter.
The publicity surrounding the jump into the oversized kettle was worth at least $4 million in equivalent advertising exposure for the Salvation Army, according to Apex Marketing Group, a sponsorship evaluation firm.
Elliott was flagged for excessive celebration, which usually carries a fine of $12,154, but NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy tweeted Monday morning that Elliott would not be fined. Elliott, who had planned to match a fine with a donation, tweeted he would still donate.
Cowboys receiverDez Bryantdidn't see an issue with the celebration, saying, "Why not let it be legal? We're just having fun. Let's not make it the No Fun League."
Elliott, asked Sunday if he would hop into the kettle again, said it was a one-time gesture, citing the penalty and the frustration of Cowboys coaches with the move.
"Let's give Zeke credit for that. It is certainly fun," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Monday. "We have those kettles there because we do want the visibility of reminding everybody, certainly at this time of year, how doing the most good is putting a dollar in that red kettle. To have gotten that attention in front of probably 20 million or so people [Sunday] night for the Salvation Army was just wonderful."
Information from ESPN's Todd Archer and Darren Rovell was used in this report.