WATCH: NBA Player’s Vulgar Gesture That Led To $15000 fine

Published 11/13/2021, 9:45 AM EST
Nov 11, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet (23) reacts after his three point score against the Philadelphia 76ers during the fourth quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports


The Toronto Raptors franchise has shown a tremendous amount of trust in Fred VanVleet. He is one of the few players left on the roster from the NBA championship-winning season in 2019. So his confidence on the floor is exactly like what we expected out of a franchise player. Big money moves from big-time ballplayers.

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However, the NBA draws the line on how a player can express and conduct himself on the court. They are the ones who determine what type of conduct is acceptable on the court, and obscene gestures are certainly not welcome in the NBA. Therefore, the NBA fined Fred VanVleet when he celebrated a clutch three-pointer with an obscene gesture he learned from an NBA legend.

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NBA fines Fred VanVleet for obscene gesture

When Fred VanVleet nailed a clutch three-pointer to clinch the victory against the Philadelphia 76ers, he did what NBA enthusiasts previously know as Sam Cassell’s ‘Big B*ll Dance’. And as the name suggests, it was evidently an obscene gesture. Especially considering that a lot of the NBA fans are children below the adequate age to even acknowledge such jokes.

The league has even previously shown its strictness about such celebrations with Dwight Howard in 2017. They also fined him for an obscene gesture in a game between the Charlotte Hornets and Minnesota Timberwolves.

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Mar 21, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet (23) drives to the basket against Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland (10) during the fourth quarter at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

What does this mean for the players?

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While the league’s punishment policies are sometimes very arbitrary, they aim to uphold a sense of family values in the NBA. And to uphold that, they draw a line on how they expect professional players to conduct themselves on the court. Therefore, despite being in a player-empowerment era of basketball, such a limitation gets placed on their conduct.

Since the league has arguably allowed a lot of disrespectful celebrations, the players have come a long way from not even being allowed to wear designer sneakers on the court. However, the NBA still upholds a sense of professionalism and knows where to draw the line of unprofessional conduct.

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Do you think the NBA was right in fining Fred Van Vleet for this celebration? Let us know what you think.

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Chaitanya Dadhwal

364 articles

Chaitanya Dadhwal is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Even though his journalism is driven by his desire to understand both sides of an argument and give a neutral perspective, he is biased towards Houston Rockets and Arsenal, and he has shown exactly how loyal he can be through tough times. Currently a Law student at Jindal Global Law School, he aims to have his own sports management firm one day and enjoys rap music during his time off.

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