The National Football League has revoked a videographer's sideline credentials after a player used his phone to celebrate a touchdown.
Kevin Fitzgibbons is a 20-year-old University of Miami student who says he has been working Miami Dolphins games since last year. But Fitzgibbons posted a video to social media Monday night saying the NFL has revoked his credentials following a touchdown celebration by Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill, which Hill recorded using Fitzgibbons' cell phone.
"In Week 6 of this season, Tyreek scored a touchdown in the exact same corner of the end zone that I was filming in," Fitzgibbons said. "He noticed me and surprised me by grabbing my phone and doing a backflip. It was the coolest moment ever, and I ran into the tunnel to send the clip in to the NFL."
The journey continues… pic.twitter.com/QsrXjI0eeE
— kfitz (@kfitzsports) November 29, 2023
Fitzgibbons went on to explain that the NFL reached out, telling him that he would be suspended for the remainder of the season — possibly longer. The league apparently stated that Fitzgibbons still needed to be disciplined, regardless whether he had anticipated the celebration or not.
"One of the best moments of my life turned upside down in a matter of seconds," he said.
Hill, who was penalized for the celebration, told reporters after the game that the interaction between him and Fitzgibbons wasn't planned. Referencing the phone, Hill said he "just took it from him."
The 7-time Pro Bowl receiver, who has worked with Fitzgibbons on video projects in the past, declined to comment on the situation Tuesday.
"I would comment but I could get fined," Hill said in a post on X.
I would comment but I could get fined😵💫 https://t.co/R1bqFO2mrp
— Ty Hill (@cheetah) November 29, 2023
Meanwhile, Dolphins backup quarterback Mike White was a bit more vocal, commenting on Fitzgibbon's Instagram video: "FREE MY GUY KFITZ MAN!" Other social media users pointed out that the cellphone backflip video had also been shared by an NFL-affiliated account in a now-deleted post. The situation has also drawn the attention of athletes outside of the NFL, including NBA legend LeBron James, who said the NFL needs to "do better."
Amid the backlash, it remains to be seen whether the league will reduce or reverse Fitzgibbons' suspension. But it seems, at least for the time being, that the videographer won't be on the sidelines for any other Dolphins games this season.
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