Some of the people may have donated money to the Salvation Army anyway, but still …
As sports fans, we sometimes get caught up on the wrong aspect of hot debates. Case in point: Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott and his now famous decision to celebrate a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by jumping into a giant Salvation Army kettle.
Much of the discussion after the fact has centered on whether Elliott’s act was premeditated (both he and the Salvation Army say it was not) and if Zeke should have been fined for his actions. The NFL decided not to fine him, a stance that didn’t sit well with the likes of Odell Beckham Jr. and LeVeon Bell.
In a vacuum, maybe those players have a point regarding double standards. But the NFL was in an unusually tough PR spot, because fining Elliott would have raised the ire of fans who support the good cause the Salvation Army represents and made the league look heartless during the holidays.
Not fining him? All that meant was angry Cowboys haters and players grumbling, and those are around all the time anyway.
The real benefit of Elliott’s leap, though, can be measured in dollars and cents. And the Salvation Army is surely grateful he decided to jump into that kettle.
Feeding those who could use a helping hand during the holidays is a cause fans of all teams should be able to get behind. It’s unfortunate that it took an NFL star doing something silly to call attention to it, but everyone should be glad that Elliott decided to head for that kettle after reaching paydirt.