Wednesday, April 25, 2007

What An Obscene Gesture Will Set You Back In Various Sports

Today, NASCAR fined Juan Pablo Montoya $10,000 for what they termed an "obscene gesture". Obviously that encompasses a lot of gestures, but the most popular is probably the one finger salute.

So NASCAR believes that an "obscene gesture" is worth about $10k(Martin Truex and Shane Hmiel have been fined similar amounts). What about other sports leagues?

One of the most recent cases in the NFL was during the 2006 season when Michael Vick showed hecklers in the Georgia Dome that he thought they were #1 by way of the middle finger. For his actions, Vick found himself down $10,000. Prior to that, Jake Plummer and Jeremy Shockey had each been fined $5,000 for "obscene gestures". Obviously at some point the NFL decided that that wasn't high enough.

In the NBA, Andrew Bogut, Josh Howard and Adam Morrison were each fined $25,000 for obscene gestures during the course of 2007 season. More than double what the NASCAR and NFL participants seemingly have to pay.

In the past, the MLB, NHL and tennis leagues have fined their respective players $5,000(Albert Belle) and $1,000(Theo Fleury/Natasha Zvereva) for obscene gestures. Though, amounts in those leagues may have increased in recent years.

Even the Olympics have been involved with obscene gestures when they fined skier Pierre-Emmanuel Dalcin $3,800 for his flip-off in front of the camera.

So, what have we learned? That out of most of the organized sports leagues the NBA is the most stringent when it comes to fines for extending your middle digit. However, the tough stance that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has taken regarding behavior problems in his league might lead to increased punishment in the NFL. If Bryan Cox were still around he might be two fingers short right now.

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