On Saturday, the NFL fined Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill $10,026 for a taunting penalty called on him during the Week 17 game against the Oakland Raiders.
The Chiefs were called for taunting twice during the game — both times after Chiefs touchdowns. Hill was penalized after Damien Williams’ touchdown run midway through the second quarter, and wide receiver Demarcus Robinson was flagged for taunting after his own 89-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Patrick Mahomes in the third quarter.
The penalty against Hill — which took place away from TV cameras — was reportedly called after Hill was chirping at Raiders players and some pushing and shoving took place.
The two penalties were two of only four assessed against the Chiefs in the Week 17 game, which was the lowest number for any game this season. The team led the NFL in penalties in 2018 with 137.
It appeared that after the second taunting penalty, Hill — and possibly Robinson as well — had been specifically instructed to dial it back. After Hill’s 15-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, he headed towards the fans in the end zone seats but then abruptly cut down along the back of the end zone and ran all the way to the bench, where he and Robinson sat down together.
It was the second time this season that the NFL has fined Hill for taunting. He also received the standard $10,026 fine for flashing his signature peace sign at defenders during a 73-yard touchdown reception against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 11. According to NBC Sports’ Pro Football Talk, Hill has acknowledged the gesture is intended as a taunt.
Hill has been using that gesture without consequence for most of his career. In an offseason visit with PFT Live, he admitted that it’s less sending a general message of peace and more about sending a specific message to the opponents he has just beaten.
In the previous week, Hill had commandeered a network television camera after a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals and managed to record the flag being thrown against him while he was pointing the camera at his teammates.
Cheetah's point of view pic.twitter.com/k204O3CCSZ— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) November 11, 2018
That incident — which drew nationwide attention, and was widely seen as entertaining — didn’t result in a fine. The NFL did, however, send Hill a warning letter.
Hill wasn’t the only player fined by the NFL for Week 17 infractions on Saturday. Chicago Bears linebacker Roquan Smith received a $20,052 for a hit on Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, as was New Orleans Saints defensive end Marcus Davenport for a roughing the passer penalty against the Carolina Panthers. Three different players were fined more than $33,000 after a melee in which three players were ejected during the game between the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills.