We hope that as adults and role models, professional athletes would have the good sense to think before they act. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case. Pro-sports organizations like the NFL use fines as a means for convincing athletes to control their impulses.
Some fans feel that sometimes the fines aren’t enough to make up for some terrible behavior. Terrell Owens discovered this when many fans felt the NFL let him off easy following a truly shocking incident.
Why Terrell Owens owed the NFL $35,000
The incident occurred during a highly anticipated match between the Dallas Cowboys and the Atlanta Falcons. The 2006 matchup was a big game and fans expected tensions to run high, but they never imagined that it would dissolve into a spitting match between Terrell Owens and DeAngelo Hall.
Fans noticed a great deal of animosity between the two players during an obviously heated conversation. No one knows exactly what was said, but the conversation ended after Owens spit at Hall.
Following the incident, Hall publicly announced that he’d lost all respect for Owens (per ESPN).
“That’s like the No. 1 thing in the National Football League,” Hall said when asked about the incident during a post-game interview. “You don’t spit in another grown man’s face. Hopefully, the NFL can see it and go back and watch the film just before the first punt of the game. We were kind of walking face to face, and he just hauled off and spit in my face. I lost all respect for the guy, man, after that.”
After reviewing the spitting incident, the NFL fined Terrell Owens $35,000.
Was the NFL too lenient?
When fans, and DeAngelo Hall, learned that the NFL believed that the incident should only cost Owens $35,000, they were outraged. Many claimed that he was an adult. He was a professional. He should know better than to resort to spitting, a behavior the average kindergartner understands is unacceptable.
Hall was quick to share his opinion on the ruling. He strongly believed that Owens should’ve been suspended.
Many fans and even follow NFL players shared Hall’s opinion. Even fans who were diehard Terrell Owens fans up to that point stopped cheering when the receiver took the field.
Terrell Owen’s and the spitting incident
The NFL might have only charged Owens $35,000 for the juvenile act, but the incident had a long term impact on Owens. It’s impossible to determine just how much that single moment in time has cost actually cost him in terms of disappointing fans who refused to support him and lost endorsement opportunities. There’s no denying that the incident is a permanent black mark on the star football player’s record.
Owens might be one of the greatest receivers to play in the NFL, but he was also one of the most controversial. The spitting incident wasn’t the first or last time Owens found himself the center of unpopular attention. \
During his career he was blasted for unsportsmanlike touchdown celebrations, leveling accusations against coaches, being upset and refusing to report to his team, taking part in an objectionable skit, mocking other players, getting into disputes with teammates, and much more.
Throughout his career, he was issued multiple fines and suspensions. None of these penalties seemed to have much of an impact on his behavior.