February 27, 2024

MIAMI — Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill said Thursday he will pay the salary of a photographer whose game credential was suspended by the NFL.

In a video posted to social media on Tuesday, photographer Kevin Fitzgibbons, who is contracted by the NFL to shoot Dolphins home games, said he was suspended for the remainder of the season “and possibly for good” by the league for his role in Hill’s touchdown celebration against the Carolina Panthers during a win in Week 6.

After scoring, Hill took Fitzgibbons’ cellphone and filmed himself doing a backflip, after which the photographer was seen excitedly jumping up and down before he left the field to send the clip to the NFL, according to Fitzgibbons.

Hill and Fitzgibbons said the incident was unplanned, but Fitzgibbons said the NFL did not appreciate the way he reacted after the celebration.

“The NFL then let me know I would be suspended for the remainder of the season, and possibly for good,” Fitzgibbons narrated in his video. “They said regardless [of] if I knew the celebration was coming or not, I still had to be disciplined and that I shouldn’t have jumped on the sidelines after the play.”

Hill was penalized for using a prop in a celebration, but shifted the blame away from Fitzgibbons when asked about it after the game.

“It’s just one of those things that kind of happened,” Hill said. “I saw the camera and I just took it from him, and he didn’t want me to take it from him. So, I just called my shot.”

Fitzgibbons’ video went viral, gaining more than 4.5 million views on TikTok and amassing more than 100,000 likes on Instagram.

Hill was asked about the suspension Thursday. He said he and Fitzgibbons were longtime friends and that he would cover any lost wages.

“Me and K-Fitz, we’ve got a long history together,” Hill said. “The news is something that I already knew. I told him don’t let this get to you. Just hold your head up. You’re still young. Continue to do what you love. Me and him are going to continue to work together.

“I told him I was going to cover his salary, whatever the NFL was going to pay him or whatever. I told him I was going to make sure that I do what’s right and take care of you, make sure you’re not out of a job. That’s my guy.”

A league source confirmed Fitzgibbons’ suspension to ESPN, but clarified that he is still an NFL employee and is not barred from future events.

“Despite reports to the contrary, Kevin Fitzgibbons remains a contracted NFL employee,” the league source told ESPN. “While his game access has been temporarily suspended due to multiple violations of NFL policy, he is welcome and encouraged to participate in any number of other projects involving off-field league events as well as personal projects with players.”

Fitzgibbons, 20, is a student at the University of Miami and has done personal videography/photography for players such as Hill and Saquon Barkley. He has been contracted by the NFL since the 2022 season.

He ended his video saying that he understood the NFL’s decision to suspend him and thanked the league for the opportunity.

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