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NFL’s Approach To Johnny Manziel’s Obscene Gesture Could Not Be More Passive

Johnny Manziel gesture

Tim Fuller-USA Today Sports

After Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel made an obscene gesture toward the Washington Redskins bench in the teams’ recent preseason contest, NFL Total Access Analyst Heath Evans lampooned the freshman’s action and challenged commissioner Roger Goodell to take action.

I couldn’t possibly agree more with his assessment of Manziel’s blatant exhibition of juvenile behavior. The Browns’ highly publicized first-year quarterback is a child, and has definitely played like one in preseason while vying for the club’s starting QB position.

The speed of the Redskins’ first-team defense swallowed the freshman up on Monday night, and Manziel will really have to up his game if he hopes to survive in the NFL. The league apparently liked Manziel’s childish display of frustration so much that it declined to dock the Browns with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, although the league did slap Manziel on the wrist with a $12,000 fine.

I’m sorry. Is that all? So the league will nail New Orleans Saints TE Jimmy Graham with a $33.075  fine for dunking a football over the goal posts, but not bring the gavel down on Manziel for his irresponsible behavior?

I mean, Manziel only had ESPN’s cameras trained on him when the incident occurred; but no, Goodell merely advised Johnny Football that obscene gestures should really not be publicly shared on national TV. Goodell then appeased league analysts and the deafening buzz of social media – or tried to – by fining him a pocket change sum that hardly did his prime-time eyebrow-raising offense justice.

Goodell’s opportunity to make a public example of Manziel came, and then it went. That really shouldn’t surprise anybody. The commissioner’s passive-aggressive approach to Manziel’s behavior will stunt the freshman’s  development into a classy starting QB. Not that that was ever going to happen.