Injury showmanship has long plagued soccer and, more recently, the NBA. With the tough-guy facade of the NFL however, it’s a relatively new phenomenon, so perhaps you can excuse Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders‘ bad acting.
It will, however, hit him and his team in the checkbook.
During an Oct. 21 game against the Bengals, Sanders went down to the ground with an apparent cramp at a very opportune time for Pittsburgh, saving the team a time out. During the game, even NBC’s broadcasters openly speculated that the injury was suspicious.
Well, the NFL thought so too, levying fines of $15,000 to Sanders and $35,000 to the Steelers for the incident, according to The Associated Press. However, the league did not find institutional encouragement to fake injuries on the part of Pittsburgh, otherwise “the discipline would be substantially more,” said NFL executive vice president of football operations Ray Anderson.
So, as the NFL cracks down on flopping, either teams will have to find another way to stop the clock, or have its players take acting lessons.
Check out Sanders’ Academy Award bid in the video below.