The NFL does not formally announce fines to the world, but the media is able to find the information fairly quickly by the end of the week. USA Today NFL writer Tom Pelissero is reporting that San Francisco 49ers running back Carlos Hyde has been fined $9,115 for his flexing gesture against the Arizona Cardinals.
The play came in the second quarter with the 49ers leading 7-0, on a drive that ended in an interception. Blaine Gabbert found Hyde coming out of the backfield on 2nd and 4. Hyde picked up seven yards and the first down. He got up and flexed, which resulted in a 15 yard penalty. Three plays later, Gabbert was intercepted.
The NFL has been trying to enforce rules against taunting, and has expanded what constitutes taunting. In this particular instance, after Marcus Cooper tackled Hyde, we see him walk to Hyde and stand over him as the 49ers running back is getting ready to stand up. Hyde gets up and flexes. The ref gets in between them and throws a flag on Hyde.
I get that the NFL is cutting down on taunting, but you would think the referees in this case would have at least taken a second to discuss the fact that Cooper had started things. I realize, “he started it,” is not the best defense, but in light of the emotion during the game, it seems like referees need to consider context before calling significant penalties like this.
And the fact that it resulted in a fine? That seems overboard, and further example of the league trying to legislate emotion. The NFL wants robots at this point.