Posted by Will Brinson
On Sunday during the Lions pregame introductions, Nate Burleson lifted up his uniform to reveal the slogan "What up doe" written on it and later, when scoring a touchdown, punted the ball into the stands.
As a result of those two actions, he's been fined $15,000 by the NFL, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk points out that $15K is a "pretty stiff price" for two actions that are relatively harmless -- "What up doe" just means "What's up?" in Detroit slang and punting a ball certainly isn't the worst celebration in the world.
On the other hand, Roddy White was fined $10,000 for his "Free Mike Vick" shirt move. In this instance the league probably isn't as concerned with the message of Burleson's shirt so much as it is stopping folks from delivering messages via that medium -- being lenient on Burleson just because the words on his shirt theoretically don't mean anything wrong gives other players way too much wiggle room.
And $5,000 for a celebration penalty is relatively reasonable -- Chad Ochocinco picked up the same tab for putting the ball, while Wes Welker got nailed for twice as much for making snow angels in the end zone.
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