MIAMI — Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill announced Thursday that he will cover the salary of a photographer whose game credential was suspended by the NFL.
In a video shared on social media on Tuesday, photographer Kevin Fitzgibbons, contracted by the NFL to capture Dolphins home games, revealed he had been suspended for the remainder of the season, and possibly longer, by the league for his involvement in Hill’s touchdown celebration during Week 6 against the Carolina Panthers.
Following his touchdown, Hill took Fitzgibbons’ cellphone and recorded himself executing a backflip. Subsequently, the photographer was seen excitedly jumping before leaving the field to send the clip to the NFL, as per Fitzgibbons.
Both Hill and Fitzgibbons emphasized that the incident was spontaneous. However, Fitzgibbons explained that the NFL took issue with his post-celebration reaction, leading to his suspension. Fitzgibbons recounted in his video, “The NFL informed me of the suspension, stating that regardless of whether I anticipated the celebration or not, discipline was necessary, and my sideline reaction was inappropriate.”
While Hill received a penalty for using a prop in his celebration, he absolved Fitzgibbons of blame when questioned about the incident after the game. “It was one of those spur-of-the-moment things,” Hill remarked. “I noticed the camera and just took it from him. He didn’t want me to, but I made the call.”
Fitzgibbons’ video went viral, garnering over 4.5 million views on TikTok and accumulating more than 100,000 likes on Instagram.
When asked about the suspension, Hill expressed that he and Fitzgibbons share a longstanding friendship and that he would cover any lost wages. “K-Fitz and I go way back,” Hill stated. “The news wasn’t surprising to me. I assured him not to let it affect him. Keep your head up. You’re young. Keep doing what you love. We’ll keep working together. I promised to cover his salary, whatever the NFL intended to pay him. I’m committed to doing right by him and ensuring he doesn’t lose his job. He’s my guy.”
An ESPN league source confirmed Fitzgibbons’ suspension, clarifying that despite this action, he remains an NFL employee and is not prohibited from participating in future events. “Despite contrary reports, Kevin Fitzgibbons is still under contract with the NFL. While his game access is temporarily suspended due to multiple policy violations, he is encouraged to engage in various other league-related or personal projects involving players.”
Fitzgibbons, a 20-year-old student at the University of Miami, has provided personal videography/photography for players like Hill and Saquon Barkley. He has been under contract with the NFL since the 2022 season. He concluded his video by acknowledging his understanding of the NFL’s decision and expressing gratitude to the league for the opportunities given.
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