NFL Teams Are Being Muzzled on Social Media

To say that the NFL has a complicated relationship with social media would be an understatement. While Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook have all ground out lucrative promotional partnerships with the league, the number of controversies surrounding teams and players has grown and grown.

The NFL have routinely failed to appropriately deal with such mishaps, leaving it to the teams to set their own guidelines. It says a lot about the NFL that they're only now taking a closer look at social media sharing, because of money. From now on, any 'unapproved' game time videos or GIFs posted by teams or their players on social media will warrant a $25,000 fine.

That's not even the half of it though. The $25,000 fine is only for a first offense; a second offense will incur a $50,000 fine and any after that will cost $100,000. It's a way to make sure that any game highlights which do get posted are still under league control, which obviously has the added effect of assuring that the league sees some of that sweet sweet revenue.

Weirdly, the rules also mean that pop culture GIFs are also off limits during games. It's unclear whether that was intentional, or merely a side-effect of the wording of the new rules, but in either case, you won't be seeing any players posting GIFs of Terry Crews dancing on Sundays for a while, sadly.

This is another chapter in the unfortunate saga of the NFL's fine-happy behaviour. Previously, players have been fined for wearing shoes, socks and even headphones that weren't made by official NFL brand partners, and, often, those fines would be far in excess of the ones players incur for illegal hits or other inappropriate behavior on the actual field.

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